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Nokia N950 will be Nokia's next MeeGo phone this year

MeeGo is alive on the Nokia N950, the successor to the N900, which is aimed at developers looking to play in the Linux-based software sandbox.

MeeGo isn't going anywhere, says Nokia. The company will be releasing its second MeeGo phone, the Nokia N950, this year.

The Nokia N950 will be the successor to the N900, and it will be similarly targeted at geeky developers who want to have fun in the Linux-based software sandbox, GSM Arena reports.

The MeeGo-powered N950 was confirmed by Nokia's CTO, Rich Green, at a developers' conference last week. We don't yet know any of the phone's specifications, but Green insisted the phone is worth releasing, despite Nokia jumping into bed with Windows Phone and leaving Symbian and MeeGo to sleep on the couch.

"There's a lot of really interesting user interface design work... and some very elegant hardware," in the N950, said Green. 

But even Nokia's uber-techie isn't trying to flog the N950 as a phone for the punter on the street. Instead, it will be a platform for experimenting with the Qt application framework.

"It's your option as to how you want to treat that device," shrugged Green in his spiel to developers. "But as a developer platform, the ability on a Qt/QML/Linux platform to do some very interesting things will be there -- and um, we'll see how that goes."

To be fair, Green isn't a marketing monkey, and we appreciate his straightforward summary of the N950's role. But it's hardly a ringing endorsement of MeeGo's future.

Rather than the year's hottest smart phone, Nokia is pushing the N950 as a platform for developing Qt apps. It points out that Qt is the application platform for MeeGo and Symbian, which powers 75 million phones today and will still be up and running on an estimated 150 million phones in the next few years. 

Nokia has said that it won't be bringing Qt to Windows Phone, though. So developers who want to see their work on the next generation of Nokia smart phones must switch to Windows Phone apps, although heaven knows when we'll see them.

Update: We've updated this story to clarify that the Nokia N950 does run the MeeGo software.