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Nokia E7 phone finally hitting stores this week

Following delays, Nokia's "flagship" E7 business smartphone is trickling into select markets this week, with a broader launch set for soon after.

The smartphone that Nokia has been touting as its new "flagship" business model will finally reach consumers this week.

Nokia's E7 business smartphone.
Nokia's E7 business smartphone. Nokia

Following its unveiling last September and a long delay coming to market, the E7 will have a small, initial launch in the next few days, with a broader launch to follow soon, Nokia announced today.

Nokia's announcement was mum on a number of launch details. However, a Nokia representative told CNET that the E7 will be released first in Finland, the company's home turf. She could not provide names of any other countries, just saying that broader availability is expected by month's end. She did add the E7 is set to launch in the United States by the end of the quarter.

The E7 costs 495 euros ($674). No carriers or subsidized prices were announced.

Initally scheduled to debut in December, Nokia told CNET at the time that the company decided to delay launch "to ensure the best possible user experience on the Nokia E7." Nokia did not specify what exactly had gone wrong.

The E7 includes the Symbian 3 operating system, a 4-inch AMOLED ClearBack touch screen designed to improve outdoor visibility, a full slide-out QWERTY keyboard, an 8-megapixel camera with a dual LED flash and HD video capture, USB and HDMI connections, and 16GB of flash memory.

Geared for the business crowd, the phone offers built-in synchronization with Microsoft Exchange and comes with Office Communicator Mobile, a corporate instant messaging app developed by Microsoft specifically for Nokia smartphones.

Although still the world's leading mobile phone maker, Nokia has watched its dominance slowly slip over the past couple of years. Losing market share and sales to Apple and Android devices, the company reported lower earnings yet again in the fourth quarter of 2010.

In a bid to regain its foothold, CEO Stephen Elop is planning a major shift in Nokia's strategy. Details are scheduled to be revealed in a financial briefing on Friday. However, some reports say that a management shakeup is already in the works.

Updated at 8:05 a.m. PT with additional details from a Nokia representative.