Exclusive: Leaked Images of RM-581 “Columbus” Harmattan Prototype – N8-esque from 2009

| September 2, 2012 | 79 Replies

I was just sent this in, and the email is already dead. So the info is limited. What we have is a Protoype, supposedly from 2009, that ran Maemo6, more commonly known as MeeGo-Harmattan. Remember the post I wrote about the various prototypes in production? Well this is the Prototype I was told styled off N8, however, if this was from 2009, I believe the N8 was styled off this!

It is interesting to note the device branding shows the intention on making this a landscape oriented device. I don’t want to dwell on the fact that if Harmattan was on devices in 2009, the game may be different. I will point out, that from what I had seen of Harmattan concepts before N9 release, the UI and UX was quite different.

You can clearly see the NSeries branding, so this may have been the original N8. Looking at the camera lens beneath the “og”, it says AF 12MP. It is safe to assume it had the same Camera Module as the N8. 12MP in 2009! It was crazy in 2010, and if it were on the market a whole year earlier, I don’t think the mobile industry would be the same as today. Plus, it ran Harmattan! A bloody advanced mobile OS today (even without Swipe), let alone back then. I could easily go on about that for hours, but I wont.

Continuing with the earlier idea of landscape use, you can see there is an interesting take on a kickstand, that seems to integrate, at least in my opinion, very well with the design on the phone. Keep in mind, the N900 launched in 2009, so it isn’t too hard to see the influence, whether the N900 influenced this, or was influenced by, is anyone’s guess. Also, is it just me, or does that FFC sensor look big?

The last two images I have are of the device’s side. Above you can see the sim card slot. For some reason, the bottom housing on the device has been removed. It is more intriguing to me, as it it makes you ask why? What was special? In the image below, you can see the other side profile. It shows off the volume rocker, dedicated camera key, and the top looks like a power/lock button of some kind.

So there you have it, first pictures of the RM-581 Columbus. The reason it was cancelled, according to my email, was that Harmattan was finished yet.

What do you guys think?

Michael

Category: Gallery, Leak, Leaked, Linux, Maemo, MeeGo, Nseries

About the Author ()

Hi! My name is Michael. Like the others, I'm also a Student, living here in Sydney. I have a real passion for the latest technology and I'm a real Nokia buff! My aim is to keep those of you, like myself, updated with the latest in what's going on in the Nokia World. Currently sporting N9 & Lumia 820, with other Nokia devices in my posession. Get in touch on Twitter via @MFaroTusino, Google Plus or even simply drop me an email at mike.mnb[at]outlook.com or tips[at]mynokiablog.com

Comments (79)

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  1. Aliqudsi says:

    Also would love to see how Elop is to blame for this one ;)

    • tomcat says:

      Why do u instigate shit

      • n8thegreat says:

        Because the trolls and cynics brought this upon themselves.

        • yasu says:

          @n8thegreat

          Because the trolls and cynics brought this upon themselves.

          Brought what exactly upon themselves? What Ali did here is a nice bit of trolling, which could open the door to some more infighting in the form of “that was before Elop, however, what he did…” and here we go again.

          • Aliqudsi says:

            Not instigating (although it could be taken that way)- Just pointing out to everyone who loves saying that elop is the sole reason Meego was scrapped, he might have had a roll in it, but as you see it was already taking too long to wrap up.

            • yasu says:

              @Aliqudsi

              Not instigating (although it could be taken that way)- Just pointing out to everyone who loves saying that elop is the sole reason Meego was scrapped, he might have had a roll in it, but as you see it was already taking too long to wrap up.

              And yet the N9 saw the light of day before Lumia and one of the things Elop is blamed for happened.

              That said, Meego was a colossal waste of time, since Maemo was already here and running. To point fingers, the problem I refer to is the time wasted fooling around with Intel. Apparently, the same problem is plaguing Tizen, which is getting delayed.

            • swain says:

              @Ali:
              “Also would love to see how Elop is to blame for this one”
              May be Meego was not ready then and this project was cancelled due to that. But your favorite person killed a complete, fully capable and sophisticated OS.
              Anyway this is not my point. He deserves some appreciation and can be blamed for many things. So, please stop all these. Expecting some comment from Jay and Michael on this as their posts feel unbiased.

            • stylinred says:

              what? we got the N9 didnt we? this looks to be pre-n9 no? glad there was a delay since the n9/n950 has the nore refined N8 design

          • n8thegreat says:

            “Brought what exactly upon themselves? What Ali did here is a nice bit of trolling, which could open the door to some more infighting in the form of “that was before Elop, however, what he did…” and here we go again.”

            Trolls brought karma upon themselves, blaming everything wrong with Nokia on Elop. The truth is obviously far different than that. I love Nokia, but the truth is before Elop, there were a lot of lazy, arrogant and incompetent people working at Nokia, and thanks to them this is why Nokia has gone through a tough few years right now.

            Elop has made some mistakes too, but nobody is perfect. Elop has also contributed to some big and important positive changes. He’s made Nokia more focused, less lazy, less incompetent and less arrogant.

            The sad fact is that this includes a lot of Finns who were at Nokia before Elop. I think this is really hard for Finns, especially former execs or Finns with ties to Nokia, to admit that there was a lot of incompetence at the company pre-Elop. Finland is a country that prides itself on intelligence, so it is definitely embarrassing that such incompetence existed at Nokia.

            Nokia pre-Elop didn’t even use competitor’s phones! Pre-Elop almost all Nokia employees had Nokia phones, and had no real world experience with competitor devices. This made it really hard for Nokia to see how they compared with specific competitor phones. This is just one example of incompetence.

            • yasu says:

              @n8thegreat

              Trolls brought karma upon themselves, blaming everything wrong with Nokia on Elop. The truth is obviously far different than that. (…)

              I still fail to see what the trolls and the cynics brought upon themselves. Do their wife leave them? Their dog die? Their home burst into flames?

            • error says:

              “Nokia pre-Elop didn’t even use competitor’s phones!”

              Probably not at work but quite many Nokia employees used iPhone as their personal phone already in 2008.

              “He’s made Nokia more focused, less lazy, less incompetent and less arrogant.”

              Here in Finland it seems that talented people are leaving Nokia and the incompetent ones are staying. When you announce that you are going to cut 10´000 employees and give out 1 year salary to those who leave voluntarily you get situation where people who can get job anywhere leave first and the ones who cant get job anywhere else stay. This is pretty much the situation at Nokia right now.

              “The sad fact is that this includes a lot of Finns who were at Nokia before Elop. I think this is really hard for Finns, especially former execs or Finns with ties to Nokia, to admit that there was a lot of incompetence at the company pre-Elop.”

              There was and there still is. Most of the top execs were completely clueless how software should be made. Nokia had (and still has) huge middle management who were more concerned in the title they had than in the products they were making.

              Elop has done good things too. Cutting out completely ridiculous research projects etc. but he has also tied Nokia very tightly to Microsoft.

    • Thomas F says:

      No need to, this must be an N8 prototype, and not meano6 or Harmattan. Not if 2009 is the correct year.

    • sunnyvale says:

      oh god, what have you done… :)

  2. qromodynmc says:

    nokia killing itself. Just that.. Make awasome devices but dont sell them,what a beautiful strategy.

  3. KF says:

    sack elop immedietly!!! release this one everywhere NOW!!!!!!
    /s

    • Pdexter says:

      … this was before Elop.

      • deep space bar says:

        despite the date elop could of had this device out regardless…..this means that this was one of the 4 meego models that Nokia had set up before elop came and messed Nokia up

        plank,sliding keyboard,smaller screen and the next model we don’t know

        so we do blame elop cause we HAVEN’t SEEN THIS MODEL TILL NOW AND THAT IS AFTER MEEGO WAS BEEN KILLED :/ so how again even though this model was in progress was this not elops fault if the n950 and N9 did come out ….hmmmmmmm you want to answer that?

  4. viktor von d. says:

    this why nokia failed. if they had finished meego earlier and released the phones in 2010, or the n8 at the end of 2009, things would have been really different now. we could probably be already at meego v3 by now and have a complete line of products reaching their 2nd generation. the way symbian and maemo was managed back then truly sucked. all they had to do was give the meego developement team more resources and begin the phasing out of symbian earlier

    • deep space bar says:

      I’ve been saying the same shit for months and people here act and gawk at me as if i’m a damn troll…well this picture,this device,the time they’ve put into developing this device….proves they where clearly going the Meego way until elop came and scrambled shit in nokia

      the side stand SHOULD BE MADE NOW for the N8

  5. SLAYER says:

    I’m disappointed, like always. were they sleeping back in 2008-2010? they had great ideas and lots of resources, they weren’t short on manpower either. what were they doing?

    There was a video of the 808 prototype where the bottom part was removed and connected with something, maybe that’s the way they tested the HW.

    • Michael Faro-Tusino says:

      Can you link to this video please?

    • Janne says:

      Slayer:

      They were wasting time on their Symbian religion.

      • yasu says:

        @Janne

        They were wasting time on their Symbian religion.

        And selling enough phone and making money, acquiring Navteq, Qt, and fooling around with Intel. Fortunately now, they are free of such hassles, now that they have their faith based focus on WP.

        • Pdexter says:

          Key word is enough.

          They had at that point already lost the developed world and Samsung had gone past them.

          It was just matter of time before Android did that in less developed world.

          Unfortunately Nokia was in sleep making the same crap Symbian as before when they could have done the change much sooner and get rid off it.

          • Janne says:

            It was exactly this kind of “let’s not touch Symbian, the moneycow” conservative bean counter mentality that was wrong at Nokia during the OPK years. That is why they failed to seriously capitalize on the gem they had in Maemo. Symbian was sacred, but unfortunately for Nokia the world chose a different path – one that Symbian wasn’t suitable for.

            In 2011 a MeeGo was a much harder proposition than a Maemo blitz in 2007-2009, because iPhone and especially Android were already entrenched in 2011. Sure, MeeGo could still have worked to some extent, but nowhere near being the storm it could (and I say would) have been had it come out years prior in a consumer smartphone form.

            • Janne says:

              BTW: My intention is not at all comment Elop with these remarks. A lot can and has been said of the choices made in 2011, I’m sure many bad things as well.

              However, this in my view is not about that, but the failings of the previous management (year 2009 plants it firmly into OPK territory too), which I do consider graver than anything else Nokia has failed at in recent years. OPK failed Maemo.

              • yasu says:

                @Janne

                However, this in my view is not about that, but the failings of the previous management (year 2009 plants it firmly into OPK territory too), which I do consider graver than anything else Nokia has failed at in recent years.

                This is highly debatable, but let’s agree to disagree.

                OPK failed Maemo.

                This we can agree on.

            • yasu says:

              @Janne

              It was exactly this kind of “let’s not touch Symbian, the moneycow” conservative bean counter mentality that was wrong at Nokia during the OPK years. That is why they failed to seriously capitalize on the gem they had in Maemo. Symbian was sacred, but unfortunately for Nokia the world chose a different path – one that Symbian wasn’t suitable for.

              You conveniently fail to mention that they were also pinching money even on Symbian, the sacred cow.

              Or that they were intent to replace it with Meego on the high end, with Qt as a common platform instead of your “let’s not touch Symbian, the moneycow”

              Was it also Symbian fault that Nokia decided to dick around for Meego for months while Maemo was already there?

              Meanwhile Symbian that you are so quick to blame was holding the fort, paying some of the bills and buying them time.

              In 2011 a MeeGo was a much harder proposition than a Maemo blitz in 2007-2009, because iPhone and especially Android were already entrenched in 2011. Sure, MeeGo could still have worked to some extent, but nowhere near being the storm it could (and I say would) have been had it come out years prior in a consumer smartphone form.
              Rejoice, Symbian is as good as gone. Both it and Meego have been replaced by WP.

              Seriously, do you really want to debate this?

              • Janne says:

                No I don’t want to debate it, I’m quite content with the knowledge I’m right on this one. ;) The whole Elop era is a much harder debate, with many opposing views that I think have merit, but I think the major failure of OPK era needs no debate. I think history has already had that debate and OPK as well as Maemo were big the losers with Symbian winning (only so that I could loose later obviously).

                Time. The essence of all it was time. The Qt/Symbian^3/^4 adventure cost Nokia a lot of time it didn’t have and shouldn’t have wasted. The effort that went into shoehorning Qt and touch to Symbian was immense and unnecessary had Maemo been lifted to the front.

                First Nokia under Ollila/OPK hindered Maemo’s advances into smartphones at all prior to the iPhone, this was the first and biggest lost opportunity. They could have outdone the iPhone. The second came when Maemo was destined for high-end mobile computers when the world was going for all-through-price-spectrum smartphones, again because Symbian was sacred.

                The third lost opportunity was wasting time with MeeGo, which of course is a separate issue and not caused by Symbian – although at the same time Symbian was having a hard time getting to that vaunted ^3. And thus OPK failed to deliver on all of his promises at Capital Markets Day 2010 and he was out.

                Only then was Elop in and the rest is, as they say, history. None of this had to be. They could have won big with Maemo years prior.

                • Janne says:

                  What I’m really trying to say is that there NEVER should have been a Symbian S60v5 (i.e. the N97). Nokia should have left Symbian into non-touch devices and combated iPhone with Maemo. There would have been no need for the massive Qt/^3/^4 Symbian efforts, they could have built a new app ecosystem from 2007-2009 onwards just like Apple and Android did. All that energy could have and should have gone into Maemo.

                  But more importantly, I think Nokia should have made the “iPhone” before iPhone, using Maemo. Nokia could have and should have re-invented the smartphone for holiday 2006.

                • yasu says:

                  @Janne

                  No I don’t want to debate it, I’m quite content with the knowledge I’m right on this one. ;)(…)

                  The long multiple paragraph response following that quote tells me that you do. Which is it?

                  • Janne says:

                    I’m simply explaining why I think hindsight has proven this view and there is no need for debate.

                    Nokia didn’t foresee iPhone or the importance of it, even though they had the potential inside the company (Maemo). Then Nokia didn’t foresee how the iPhone-like technology would quickly profilerate from high-end “mobile computers” to low-end cheap Androids, but instead they stuck to using Symbian in low/mid range and Maemo was positioned in the top segment only.

                    OPK era Nokia failed to see both of these trends. If they had foreseen them, they would not have tried to shoehorn Symbian Series 6o into something it was not, but used Maemo to first beat the iPhone and taken it across the price spectrum as fast as possible to beat Android. They had the potential, but they wasted it on trying to fix Symbian and pointless MeeGo adventures.

                    That’s the beauty of hindsight, it puts many debates in rest.

                    • yasu says:

                      @Janne
                      But Janne that wasn’t your argument. http://mynokiablog.com/2012/09/02/exclusive-leaked-images-of-rm-581-columbus-harmattan-prototype-n8-esque-from-2009/comment-page-1/#comment-645138

                      I’ll get back to you later.

                      For the record, I never disputed that OPK management left a lot to desire.

                    • Janne says:

                      Partly true that Symbian religion wasn’t the only reason, there was more to it what killed this device (general mismanagement of Maemo, including the ill-timed MeeGo delay).

                      However, I do think the concern and focus for the big push in Symbian^3 was partially to blame.

                    • Janne says:

                      Again, just to try to clarify my messages:

                      I think history has proven that where the market was going (iPhone-like experience throughout the price spectrum), out of the options it had Nokia was best equipped to answer the challenge with Maemo. It could have done it even before the market changed, but most certainly it could have followed when the marked changed.

                      Instead Nokia decided to try to shoehorn the then-popular, but not readily suitable Symbian for the job. While the Qt strategy sounded good on paper, it missed the more important historical change: Android would do it all on one platform, from top to bottom. Thus Nokia should not have wasted time trying to keep Symbian relevant, but moved fast to Maemo on all fronts while keepig Symbian on keyboard phones for the time being.

                      Looking at the market with hindsight, clearly this would have been the best option for Nokia. And that was the big OPK mistake.

          • yasu says:

            @Pdexter
            As I said, now they are rid of the hassle.

  6. Jay Montano says:

    :O!!!!!!!!!!

    Xenon and good browsers in a Nokia clash and can never be put together otherwise the earth will implode.

  7. Dani says:

    Aww.. it’s sweet. Reminds me of the N950.

  8. error says:

    MeeGo deal killed this one.

  9. M says:

    Woulda, coulda, shoulda, but never happened. Whats done is done now.

  10. rafiii says:

    Thx god this design wasn’t wasted on some linux wannabe mobile os.

  11. goosepig says:

    Why couldn’t they just stick Maemo 5 on it, with the promise of an upgrade path to Maemo 6/Harmattan???

    Maemo was in 2009 was/is still better than Symbian Belle now.

  12. goosepig says:

    Obviously Elop cannot be blamed for this one, but he is still a tool..

  13. ms.nokia says:

    maybe if elop was around to see this he would have rushed it into consumer hands just like he did with the pureview,
    nokia had become arrogantly slow in reacting to the changing mobile industry,

  14. zymo says:

    What I’m feeling right now? PAIN!

  15. manchester man says:

    I dont understand why this is not just a nokia n8 prototype.

  16. reptile says:

    “I will point out, that from what I had seen of Harmattan concepts before N9 release, the UI and UX was quite different.”

    It was different, but was it at least responsive without long delays, and had a consistent interface? The reason people began migrating away from Symbian because of those problems, Maemo 6 didn’t have to have Swipe UI..

  17. anon says:

    No use dwelling on the past. That’s probably the single most important lesson I’ve learned in life.

  18. viipottaja says:

    So the N8 stole this design?!?!? ;)

    • Janne says:

      Everything is stolen from MeeGo, it seems. Even before there was a MeeGo! ;) I hear 2110 was also originally a MeeGo design.

  19. Hexpoll says:

    Want. That is the phone I wanted. I still want it.

    Wow.

  20. Janne says:

    One of the casualities of the insane MeeGo deal by OPK… it killed this and we got the flawed-but-great-camera N8 instead. Had Nokia not wasted time and effort on Symbian^3 and put everything behind Maemo at least since N900 or preferably years before that, the world would be different now. There would be no Elop at Nokia, no Windows Phone at Nokia, no Samsung at the top, instead Maemo would be ruling the world. Indeed, it could have out-iPhoned the iPhone in 2007, Nokia already had it everything it needed in-house in Maemo.

    Yes, holding onto Symbian for too long and mismanaging Maemo (it was often late a lot too, but most damaging decisions were the management ones in favour of Symbian instead of Maemo) are the reasons Nokia failed so miserably. A lot of people fail to see this, but the Symbian they praise – and which was a fairly good product for a number of years but *prior* to the touch revolution – actually nearly killed Nokia because holding onto it came at the cost of the progress they needed to make and when they needed to make it.

    In 2011 Nokia was faced with only bad options, but in 2007-2009 a Maemo revolution would have ignited the perfect storm and Nokia would have owned the second coming of smartphone as well.

    I know a lot of people don’t agree with me and I hate discussing the past as much as you do, but this is something I have felt very passionately about for a long time and all the stuff I/we hear from inside Nokia just keep reinforcing it. This was Nokia’s big mistake.

    • swain says:

      Just consider Symbian ^3 in 2009, Belle in 2010, Carla in 2011 and Donna in 2012 and E(Eve) in …
      I think the above timeline was appropriate for Symbian evolution. But as usual Nokia is too slow in delivering value and too good in missing oppertunities.
      I still believe symbian is not bad but the updates couldn’t make into market at right time.
      It would have been a different story if these timelines were met.
      They should understand that scrapping projects, killing OSes and turning into ‘just another OEM of WP’ is not going to help much.
      The mistake they did in past was delay, delay and ridiculously long delays in bringing something to market. They should learn something from Samsung. Nokia should learn how Samsung announce a device and make it available within a month.
      People wait for 1 month, 2 month, 3 month…. and finally go for other tempting alternatives.
      It’s not only the crappy s60v5 devices that made them loose their crown, they themself threw it away…
      Elop just arrived at wrong time. He handled some issues in a way that coluld have been handled in a better way but he is not sole responsible. It’s just Nokia that killed Nokia. S60v5 was just a weapon of suicide.

    • Saul says:

      Will you please stop peddling this myth, it’s been explained to you,
      the Intel tie-up was only a minor factor in slowing things down.
      It was far more nuanced/complicated than laying the blame mostly at it’s feet, please stop this (I can only assume now) deliberate FUD.
      And your assertion that Maemo was somehow killed & stopped entirely thanks to MeeGo is also completely wrong.
      (very quick to accept these supposed new FACTS & use them towards your narrative aren’t you?)
      It kept plugging along the whole time, it was always to be a bridging platform from Maemo to MeeGo proper.
      Agree more-or-less with some of your other points, just lower the propaganda, PLEASE.

  21. ssdh says:

    Sweet prototype… and already 12 MP camera.
    I just wonder if harmattan will be able to handle Pureview’s 41 mp Camera… What’s harmattan’s HW limit anyway when it comes to cameras?

  22. FireDragon says:

    I feel pain right in my heart for real to see this considering the year it is from and not be able to have it at all. I mean Maemo – the reason I join Nokia camp, the design that made me buy not one but 2 N8s, the KICKSTAND that I cry all the time to have and I cannot have it! That is not fair really not fair.

    Nokia need to dig up those graves and take out those golden gems and bring them to live real fast. And I am really eager to see full of Windows Phone 8 as well.

    Nokia need to put some N950 form too, with whatever OS they want to go with just do it with 950.

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