Intel says no MeeGo phones until first half of 2011, Nokia just shrugs

While Nokia remains mum about the status of its first MeeGo handset, Doug Fisher, Vice President of Intel's Software and Solutions Group and General Manager of Systems Software Division, is being decidedly more talkative. According to an interview published by Forbes, MeeGo phones and tablets are in the works but we'll have to wait until 2011 to handle them. Specifically, Fisher says that MeeGo based cellphones won't debut until the first half of next year, possibly at a large industry trade show. Hmm, could that be Mobile World Congress by any chance, scheduled for February 2011? It's also worth noting that Fisher's timeline coincides with plans for a MeeGo 1.2 release tentatively scheduled for sometime around the end of April.

This is of course disappointing -- especially after seeing Nokia's amazing looking MeeGo-based N9 (pictured) in that supposed leak. Though it's hardly unexpected given all the executive level changes at Nokia. Remember, back in December Nokia had promised to "deliver" a Maemo 6 powered mobile computer in the second half of 2010. That promise was then seemingly reiterated when the joint MeeGo initiative was announced in February (MeeGo being the union of Maemo and Intel's Moblin). It was during that announcement that Intel and Nokia promised to "launch" MeeGo devices from Nokia and other manufactures in 2010. We took that to mean retail delivery, not just a product announcement. In fact, we've already seen the first MeeGo tablet -- the WeTab -- ship in Germany. And Fisher says that other MeeGo devices like netbooks and Internet Connected TVs are still on track to ship this year.

Regardless of the semantics, we just want to see Nokia get this right, especially as MeeGo looks to be Nokia's big play to win back the US market. If they don't get this right, well, Nokia might not get a second chance -- not with Android rapidly maturing, Windows Phone 7 set to launch, and HP getting ready to put its muscle behind webOS. Let's give Skillman some time to perfect the user experience, shall we?