Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Nokia Opens Doors to the Internet

In a paradigm shift, Nokia today introduced 'Ovi', its new Internet services brand name.

'Ovi' means 'door' in Finnish, and promises to enable consumers easily access their existing social networks, communities, and content.

As part of 'Ovi', Nokia has announced the Nokia Music Store, N-Gage, and Nokia Maps. As such, 'Ovi' at http://www.ovi.com will act as the gateway to all of these Internet services.

It will be an open door to Web communities, enabling people access their content, communities, and contacts from a single place, either directly from a compatible Nokia device, or from a PC.

The first version of Ovi.com is slated to go live in English during Q4 2007, with additional features and languages expected to go live during the first half of 2008.

Part of 'Ovi', the Nokia Music Store at http://music.nokia.com will offer millions of tracks from major artists, and independent labels, as well as local artists, available only through Nokia.

The store can be accessed via a desktop computer, or directly from a compatible Nokia device such as the Nokia N81 or Nokia N95 8GB multimedia computer.

Consumers will be able to browse for new music, buy what they want, or add a song to their wish-list to download later. They will also be able to transfer purchased songs to their mobile devices. With the built-in music player, they will be able to create playlists on the go and manage their music collection.

The store will open across key European markets this fall, with additional stores in Europe and Asia opening over the coming months.

In Europe, individual tracks will cost 1 euro and albums will be upwards of 10 euros, with a monthly subscription for PC streaming of 10 euros.

Also part of 'Ovi', N-Gage will offer an easy way to find, try, and buy great quality games directly from compatible Nokia devices.

By selecting the N-Gage application on compatible Nokia devices, users will be able to preview available games, connect with friends, read reviews, or download free demos.

Games can be bought either with a credit card, or by charging to the user's monthly phone bill. Electronic Arts, Gameloft, etc, are making some of their big brands available through N-Gage.

The application is expected to be available for download at http://www.n-gage.com in November 2007.

Meanwhile, Nokia Maps, as the name suggests, will offer maps, city guides, and more directly to compatible mobile devices.

Commenting on Nokia's shift from mobile to Internet services, Olli Pekka Kallasvuo, president and chief executive officer of Nokia, said that the industry is converging towards an Internet-driven experience, and that 'Ovi' represents Nokia's vision in combining the Internet with mobility.