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Nokia suffers MeeGo setback as N9 is reportedly killed before release

Is the Nokia N9 dead? Reports suggest the troubled Nokia's first MeeGo device is dead on arrival.

More bad news for Nokia as it stands on its "burning platform": reports suggest MeeGo has been delayed and it seems the N9 is no more.

MeeGo is Nokia's new operating system, first revealed last year but yet to be seen in a phone we can actually buy. That may not change any time soon, as Reuters reports Nokia has canned the first MeeGo device before it even made it to users' sweaty hands.

Does that mean the Nokia N9? The N9 is a device that's been hinted at in leaked photos since last summer. It was set to pack the same outstanding 12-megapixel camera as the much-maligned N8 and a 1.2GHz Intel Atom processor, and was reported to be powered by MeeGo.

We felt the N8 was a great phone saddled with substandard software, so we had high hopes for the N9. The thought of a phone with the N8's quality of hardware matched with exciting new software gets our geek glands producing phone-nerd juice at an accelerated rate.

If the Reuters report is to be believed, our phone-nerd juices will just have to be reabsorbed into our metabolisms and expelled as harmless geek gas. If it is true, it's a black day for the troubled Finnish company, which could really do with a win.

Nokia's own CEO, Stephen Elop, has described the company as facing a choice between horrible fiery death on a burning oil rig or icy oblivion in the cold, dark sea. Metaphorically, that is. He's talking about Nokia's current position, threatened by the encroaching flames of Android burning up its market share, offering the difficult but potentially life-saving plunge into a new way of doing things. Could that mean adopting Google's software?

Nokia is still one of the most popular manufacturers in the world, but it's losing ground to Apple, Android and other rivals like a race-leading athlete suddenly realising he's forgotten how to work his feet. The timing makes things worse: with only days to go before Barcelona phonefest Mobile World Congress, the eyes of the world are on phone makers. Last year Nokia's failure to launch anything was a bitter disappointment, and the pressure is on to do something cool.

We have, however, heard that MeeGo tablets are in the works. Is MeeGo Nokia's only hope? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.

We're meeting Nokia on Friday as well as steaming in mob-handed at MWC, so keep it Crave for all the latest Nokia news.