Nokia has just provided the first concrete indication for the launch date of its critically beloved (but strategically doomed) handset, the N9. A countdown has emerged on the dedicated Swedish site for the MeeGo smartphone, pointing to 10AM on September 23rd as the crucial time. Below the ticking digits, there's also an invitation to become one of 30 "N9 Pilots," who'll be a lucky group of testers that get to enjoy the N9 in September and even keep it when they're finished. We should note that there's no corresponding timer on the website's .com variant, so we may be looking at a schedule that applies strictly for the Swedish market. Either way, it makes a lot of sense for Nokia to dispense with this thunder-stealing phone's release well in advance of its marquee Nokia World event in late October -- we're expecting that to be wholly dedicated to Windows Phone, potentially with the official revelation of some hardware as well.

Source: Nokia and N9Pilot.se via Engadget