Nokia says it has finally started shipping its long-awaited N8 smartphone after several delays, but can’t say which markets will see it first.
The Finnish vendor said Thursday that the first devices have shipped and will be delivered to customers who pre-ordered online and in stores, but notes that availability “will vary by country and operator.”
However, it has promised “broad availability in the coming weeks,” after a series of delays in launching the unit – the most recent of which was announced last week.
While Nokia gave no explanation for the most recent delay, reports stated it was to allow for last-minute de-bugging of the handset’s software.
The N8 is the firm’s first unit to run its new Symbian ^3 operating system and is considered an essential part of the firm’s fight back in the smartphone market.
Nokia’s sluggish response to the iPhone cost CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo his job, with its share price down 75% over the last three years.
Some analysts say new boss Stephen Elop may have to reconsider the firm’s decision not to deploy Android smartphones in light of predictions of rapid growth for the Google-backed platform.
Nokia’s NYSE stock was up 2.1% to $10.03 overnight.