In June Nokia announced the Nokia N9 smartphone which is the first smartphone to run on the MeeGo operating system. As it looks like right now, this will become my first smartphone when it will be released. I’ve been looking at Android smartphones for some time, and while I think Android is a good operating system, I think MeeGo has some important advantages over Android. Both operating systems are based on the Linux kernel, but I feel Android has been modified too much while MeeGo delivers the features of a complete Linux distribution. The user interface and hardware look very impressive as they are demonstrated on the website of the N9.
Unfortunately some software shipped with it is closed source. In that regard Android has the advantage in the form of custom open source firmware created by the community, for example in the form of CyanogenMod. For me the presence of some closed source software is not a serious problem as the developer community can do the same for the N9 as the CyanogenMod developers did for Android, creating open source replacements for the closed source software. I understand this makes some people sceptical for who this is important though.
A more important problem is that it’s not only the first, but also the last smartphone running MeeGo we’ll see from Nokia. Nokia, now with that evil ex-Microsoft employee Stephen Elop as it’s CEO, decided to switch to Windows Mobile for all future smartphones. It’s an absolutely shameful decision to throw away the work done on MeeGo, as has been written elsewhere already. This could make you see the N9 as stillborn in a certain way, but I think that if it’s a good product we have to show Nokia the great error in it’s ways by massively buying this smartphone.
However with the telecom providers in the Netherlands increasing prices for mobile Internet I have my doubts about switching to a smartphone. Right now know I use a dumb phone with a SIM-only plan for € 5 a month, getting a smartphone and an appropriate plan for it would be very costly in comparison. And even though the N9′s battery life should be adequate, it’s still a far cry from my dumb phone which can last nearly two weeks on a charge.