Nokia N97 to ship this month

Espoo, Finland – Nokia’s flagship mobile computer, the N97, is to ship this month in more than 75 countries. But with no US carrier deal to subsidise the cost, customers in the US will have to pay a hefty $699.

The N97 has a tilting 3.5″ touch display, QWERTY keyboard and a customizable home screen, and offers instant access to company’s Ovi services.

“Fuelled by a multitude of music, maps, games, media and applications via Ovi, the Nokia N97 transforms the internet into an experience that’s completely tailored to the tastes and interests of its owner,” said Jonas Geust, Vice President and head of Nokia Nseries.

The Nokia N97 is the company’s first device to feature a home screen which can be customized with a range of widgets which bring live information directly to the device. These include social networking destinations like Facebook and Hi5, news services and shopping and weather information.

It’s the company’s first device to ship with the Ovi Store, and also has direct access to the catalogue of music in the Nokia Music Store.

With various high-speed connectivity options and 32GB of storage (up to 48GB using a microSD card), users can directly download and store tens of thousands of songs on the handset. There’s also a new Bluetooth Stereo Headset BH-905,launched today.

High-quality images and video clips at 30 frames per second can be captured using the five megapixel camera with integrated Carl Zeiss optics. Images can also be geo-tagged to specific locations and shared instantly with friends or uploaded online via Ovi Share, Twitter or Flickr.

But at this price, and with the arrival of the Palm Pre and various new iPhones, Nokia may continue to find the US a hard market to crack.