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Nokia N900 will be sold next week

Nokia’s first device running open source software will not have Arabic support

The Nokia N900 will cost AED 3,000 in the UAE.
The Nokia N900 will cost AED 3,000 in the UAE.
Nokia N900 packs a powerful ARM Cortex-A8 processor, up to 1GB of application memory and a 5 megapixel camera.
Nokia N900 packs a powerful ARM Cortex-A8 processor, up to 1GB of application memory and a 5 megapixel camera.
Nokia's Maemo N900 does not have full Arabic support.
Nokia's Maemo N900 does not have full Arabic support.
Messaging on the N900 is easy because of the full physical slide-out QWERTY keyboard.
Messaging on the N900 is easy because of the full physical slide-out QWERTY keyboard.
The Nokia N900 smartphone promises to deliver PC-like performance.
The Nokia N900 smartphone promises to deliver PC-like performance.
Thanks to the browser powered by Mozilla technology, websites look the way they would on any computer.
Thanks to the browser powered by Mozilla technology, websites look the way they would on any computer.

Nokia's first handset based on an open source platform will be sold in the United Arab Emirates next week.

The N900, powered by Maemo 5 software, will cost AED 3,000 - a price tag that the company feels is justified given the powerful features of the device.

While the Middle East will be one of the few markets in the world to receive initial shipments of the N900 along with Europe, Russia and North America, it will not support Arabic because the functionality hasn't been added to the open source software.

The limitation means that Arabic text cannot be entered but only read, however browsing Arabic websites will not be affected.

At a N900 meetup organised in Dubai late last month, it was suggested that Arabic software developers need to engage with the Maemo developer community in order to drive language accessibility for all devices running on the platform.

The VP of Nokia Nseries Jose-Luis Martinez stated that the Middle East was a very important market for the company in a recent interview.

"There's a lot of passion for Nokia Nseries in the Middle East" Martinez told itp.net "The N900 will not be available in all markets in the world (this year) because we are still creating the platform; so we need to create languages and some assets, but definitely we will prioritise the typical Latin versions and the Arab versions. We are planning to sell in Saudi and lower Gulf from day zero."

Nokia is working with the Maemo community to allow for a wide range of games, apps, themes and service plug-ins to be made available through both the Ovi Store and Maemo Select.