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Nokia shows (non-phone) WiFi device

Nokia has unveiled a new device which relies on WiFi rather than cellular networks to connect to the Web and send email. The Nokia 770 Internet Tablet is aiming for those connecting to Internet in their homes. This is Nokia's second response to the twin criticisms it faced a year ago: That it did not offer clam-shell phones, and that it was a bit thin in the smartphone/PDA dematement. The new device demonstrates Nokia's determination to reach beyond the cellphone market and position itself to compete more effectively with laptop and personal organizer makers.

The device features a touch-sensitive screen and is a bit larger than typical personal organizers. It also uses Linux. Nokia will update the device's software to support Internet telephony early next year.

The device will be available in the third quarter for about $350. Analysts are not convinced it will be a blockbuster. "It's very niche," Strategy Analytics' Neil Mawston told The Wall Street Journal. "I am struggling to see why consumers wouldn't just use their laptop or desktop to go online in the home."

For more on Nokia's new device:
- see David Pringle's Wall Street Journal report (sub. req.)

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