HMD Global Oy’s Nokia rode on the crest of nostalgia when it released the rebranded Nokia 3310 last year as a replacement for the evergreen and rock-solid Nokia 3310 of yore. The feature phone was an instant hit with fans who have good memories about the maiden 3310. The success even spurred the launch of a 4G version and later on, the company pushed the Nokia 8110 another feature phone with a long history. The company may be planning to play that card once again with the Nokia N9.
This bit may have been revealed unknowingly by Google at CES 2019. Google mounted a giant booth located just outside the Las Vegas Convention Centre where it displayed all the devices that support Google Assistant. One of the stands at the booth, Google displayed three smart feature phones powered by KaiOS. The phones include the JioPhone, and Nokia 8110 4G and a third device which looked similar to Nokia N9. This was spotted on a picture of the booth posted on KaiOS technologies’ official Facebook page.
The unannounced phone also had the Nokia logo which isn’t to clear as a result of the distance from which the photo was captured. Since the device was listed by Google under the category of Google Assistant-supported device, we can assume it is running KaiOS, a modern operating system aimed at feature phone users. While all Android smartphones come with Google Assistant by default, these feature phones running KaiOS are the only other devices to support Google’s digital assistant. However, the first Nokia N6 was a MeeGo-powered phone and didn’t feature KaiOS, buttressing assertions this is a new model. In addition, the design looks very much like the iconic Nokia N9 and bore the cyan color which was one of the color variants of the initial N9.
As a reminder, the Nokia N9 (codename Lankku) was first announced in June 2011 and released in September. It was the first and only device from Nokia with the Linux-based MeeGo “Harmattan” mobile operating system, partly because of the company’s alliance with Microsoft announced that year. It was available in four colors: black, cyan and magenta and white. We can’t say when the new N9 will be released but it is doubtful if it will elicit the same level of interest as the Nokia N9 and 8110 4G.