Nokia's hard-drive phone delayed

Nokia has delayed the launch of its N91 music phone, with 4GB hard drive, until after Christmas. The delay has been put down to the problems of making

Nokia has delayed the launch of its N91 music phone, with 4GB hard drive, until after Christmas. The delay has been put down to the problems of making the phone work with Microsoft's Windows Media Player 10 digital rights managment system, according to Reuters.

Expectations for the N91 were high after the product was announced in April 2005. We played with a version back then, and despite a few glitches it seemed to be working pretty well. The biggest problem was the form factor - it's about the size of a dinky mobile phone taped to an iPod mini – and that is something that won't be affected by the launch.

With the success of the Sony Ericsson W800i, and the arrival of the iTunes compatible Motorola ROKR, the music mobile market is starting to fill up. And these days, a hard drive isn't the only way to store a thousand songs - just take a look at the iPod Nano.

So, could it be that Nokia's "iPod killer" will end up being a damp squib? Unlikely. With integrated Wi-Fi and Symbian smartphone functionality, the N91 will still be a pretty desirable handset when it arrives in the first quarter of 2006. What's more, it should work with Napster-To-Go - and if rumours of a Nokia-branded, over-the-air music download service are true, the N91 could yet be a huge success.

It's just a shame we won't get one from Santa this Christmas. Ah well, we'll have to make do with the new 'music edition' of the Nokia 6630 3G phone -  which comes with a 256MB memory card and headphone adapter.

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