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Nokia threatens to blow iPhone away

Ovi platform goes across phones and PCs.

Article comments

Nokia has launched new multimedia phones, as well as Ovi, a music and games service that spans phones and PCs. Nokia clearly hopes to the package will leave Apple's iPhone and iTunes standing, but it might cause tension with operators.

Ovi is a door to a new Nokia music store, GPS-linked maps, and a revived N-Gage gaming service, which users will access through PCs as well as mobile devices. It includes a new user interface, and will be open to developers for new services, as well as to share photos and movies, and access existing communities such as Facebook and Myspace. Appropriately enough, the word Ovi means "door" in Finnish.

The services, which will launch before Christmas in many countries including the UK, will initially be for Nokia's high-end N series, but will filter down to other phones based on the Symbian S60, S40 and S30 user interfaces, potentially giving Nokia a massive market that could eclipse Apple's.

Four phones were announced. These included an upgrade to the popular N95, with memory extended to 8 GB, costing 560 euros and the N81, a 3G music phone with Wi-Fi, which can have either 8GB of internal memory, or a microSD card for expandable memory, costing 430 euros. There were also two cheaper 4Gbyte XpressMusic phones - the 225 euro 5310 and the 5610, which has a sliding keyboard a 3.2 Mpixel camera, and the ability to play music continuously for 22 hours.

Despite the obvious overlap with the iPhone, the Nokia executives refused to give the Apple product any more publicity at the London launch of Ovi, dodging a question that asked whether the new user interface, with its revolving panes, was similar to the iPhone, pointing out that Nokia has done its own creative work and is the largest consumer durables maker in the world, with 900 million users.

The Nokia phones and Ovi service scored over the iPhone on at least three major counts: the phones have 3G capability, Nokia promised to welcome third party developers (the iPhone has been criticised for being closed), and outlined a wider cross-platform services story. The PC interface to Ovi might, in fact, answer our call for a Symbian desktop.

Nokia already has touch-screen devices in its N series, (the Linux based N800 Internet tablet), and plans to bring a touch interface to the Symbian phones in its N series next year, the company said.

The move into services might controversial, with operators, but Nokia president and chief executive officer Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo explained the reasoning. "Phones and devices are not enough any more," he said. "If the consumer wants anything, they want a service on top of that, and the ease of use of the totality is important. This is to help operators. Ovi will support them in their strategies."

The service will enable downloading, sideloading (loading from the PC onto a mobile device) and listening live: "The online part of the music business is small, because the full experience has been missing," said Anssi Vanjoki, executive vice president and general manager of multimedia at Nokia. "Users want a simple experience which does not take any position on how the music is consumed." The service will, however, include sufficient digital rights management (DRM) to reassure the music industry they are not losing revenue.



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Comments

Turdpants said: iPhone is nothing but a hack Nokia with a fancy Samsung screen replete with hype in inverse proportion to its use and functionality Bought an iPhone today- total piece of garbage Clunky and ultra-geeky only suitable for the Apple-philiacsIm trading it in in my country for another Nokia No hype or spin- just damn good phones that work after you drop themI work in the corporate sector a a manager and found the iPhone to be totally useless for portable documentation and online meetings Utter rubbish and not worth buying- just like the iPod

brightred said: but does it do WiFi anything else locks users into telco proprietary download services

Pete said: I guess youd better start learning some Finnish now Avaa ovi Open the door and Ovi on auki The door is open would make a perfect place to start because you will be hearing a lot more about Ovi in the future Next year it will be time for something bit more difficult like Omena ji oven vliin The apple was crushed by the door

Alex said: Ha Apple fanniesJust watching your world domination EGOs spilling off is funny There is certainly a chance Apple can gain in mobile market but I would say its pretty slim especially when you look at the whole worlds not US market Nokia will be hard to beat as long as they produce good phones once a year iPhone no wi-fi no 3G not as good in the phone departmentSorry guys no reason to fight coz youve already lost

Are you kidding? said: Apple has hardly made a dint in the Mobile phone market world wide Nokia are the world leaders Not even SonyEricsson can compete I gather most of you are BIG Apple fans from your comments and seeing as the US cell phone market is relatively small in comparison to Europe and Asia where Nokia is King I dont think Nokia would see a single model phone doing much damage especially one as expensive as the iPhone

mrpiddly said: well did the author even consider the entire range of the web 2 applications on the iPhone The only thing its missing is flash support which should come soone enough Using a nokia phone to browse the web is like beating yourself with a spiked bat and that only simple none web 2 pages

JS said: The phones from Nokia look like more of the samemore smack talking short on execution What else is new Now every idiot on the web will write about it Im still waiting for the iPod killer remember those articles Apples first attempt at a phone has already produced a much better user experience than years of Nokia expertice in the field You have to ask yourself Why If they had game they should not have left it at home all these years

Craig said: Knock the apple off the tree Yes Apple has been the innovator of software hardware and user interfaces that others Knock-Off for many years While Apple is new to the cell phone world and does not have the market share that Nokia and others have Apple has changed the entire business overnight because of their hard work Lets give our business to the companies that deserve it Perhaps the Nokia phones would sell better if they paid Apple a licensing fee and put the Apple logo on them

Be Careful - said: Nokia has been doing this for what 15 years and Apple is going on 3 months Ludicrous to think Apple sees themselves as the leader 1 is the current goalThey said the same thing about the Apple in 1977 now IBM the Nokia of the time has left the business entirely Nokia will be the sameSure the goal is 1 but the internal reality is 3 in 18 months 15 in 24 months 36 in 36 months etcNokia has little chance against Apple they simply dont have the skills or expertise to build a great cell phone

Johnny Smith said: Apple now owns the entire top portion of the cell market Thats a fact Nokia has nothing even on the drawing boards to even get 60 close to the iPhone Apple has much more experience with hardware and software than Nokia ever will so they are a gonner unless they attempt to partner with AppleA few well placed nano or mini iPhone announcements and Nokia is historyApple is the most genius company of our time OSX and a Phone Impossible to beat California sets all the rules and Nokia has to play 3rd place from here on out-----

OS11 said: Nokia might as well close up shop There is no way in the world they have the resources to compete against Apple The Ovi service will fail and will be quietly pulled from the market within 3 years Apple now OWNS the cell market not much anyone can do at this point The iPhone is just too powerful too cheap and has such loyal following for Nokia to do anything but plan for layoffs budget cuts and in the 10-15 year timeframe to be sold off to the highest bidderNokia had a chance at one time but they chose not to compete against Apple The iPhone in Europe in the coming month spells the end of Nokia-

Ricardo said: Right Its a done deal Mission Accomplished

D9 said: Not sure how Apple is at the pinnacle Nokia has been doing this for what 15 years and Apple is going on 3 months Ludicrous to think Apple sees themselves as the leader 1 is the current goalWhen youre the king of mobiles and you have to develop a killer alternative for a competitor whose just joined the industry and has only one product that says volumes about the quality of leadership that company has shown to consumers over the years

Constable Odo said: Im sorry but theyre out of their league on this one Nokia is a fine cellphone manufacturer and all but boasting about taking down the iPhone is ridiculous If theyre so good why didnt they come out with the most revolutionary cellphone long time ago What OS do Nokia smartphones use anyway Lots o features does not make a great cellphone Apple is going to have a solid desktop to mobile to corporate platform never before seen using OSX Nokia is going to have to partner up with Apple to produce a phone better than the iPhone As is its gonna take four Nokia phones to equal one iPhone and just barely at that

lrd said: Nokia clumsy amp very unfriendly phones The Swiss army knife approach of phones After you cut yourself twice you quickly realize why theyre only good for being abandoned in the wilderness

Kid Plutonium said: Mark could you please be a bit more specific What pinnacle are you talking about How many of them are there How did Apple fall and who knocked them off

Mark said: I feel this is a great article and if somebody is going to knock the apple off the tree it will be Nokia This was just a matter of time and this is Apples history repeating itself every time Apple thinks they hit the pinnacle they either fall down or get knocked down



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