Nokia’s hopeful savior, the N8 phone, begins shipping

The N8 phone, which Nokia says is its most pre-ordered device ever, is now heading to customers and retailers across the country.

For Nokia, it is also one of its most important devices ever. The N8 is the flagship phone to carry the manufacturer’s newest Symbian operating system, a platform that it hopes will compete with Android and Apple’s iOS.

While Nokia has drifted in a big way from consumers in the US market, it still holds the title for being the #1 phone seller worldwide. That’s because it holds a dominant position in less developed countries over the planet, which count for hundreds of millions of devices in aggregate.

But in some of the more important markets, Nokia has slipped. The Symbian OS, which is a platform developed internally by Nokia and the only operating system it uses for any of its devices, has fallen by the wayside in countries where Android and the iPhone are prevalent.

That’s where the N8 comes it. It is Nokia’s first real answer to the new competing mobile platforms as it hopes to gain back some of its now-nealy-nonexistant market share in the US and western Europe.

The N8 has already hit a bit of a snag. The device was supposed to be going to customers by the end of September, but production problems caused those shipments to be delayed at the last minute. Today marks the beginning of actual final product being sent out.

“The Nokia N8 has received the highest amount of consumer pre-orders in Nokia history,” said company SVP Jo Harlow. The phone is set up for a humongous global launch with 100 mobile service providers all signed up to offer the phone.