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Nokia at 3GSM Congress. New products and changing the strategy
On the 14 of February Nokia introduced two new products, announced its strategy for 2005 and partnership with Microsoft at 3GSM Congress in Cannes.
The company considers the explosive growth of 3G networks the main development trend forecasting 3G networks users number to form 70 million people (to compare, in 2004 the subscribers number formed 16 million). 3G orientation was announced by other manufacturers and that is really one of the main exhibition events.
The changing data transmission speed involves a smooth percent ration change between income items - decrease of voice services share and increase of non-voice ones.
In particular, according to the company's forecast about 10 percent of a total income will belong to mobile entertainment by 2008. That means growth from 3 percent in 2004 (12 billion Euro to 63.5 billion Euro). At the same time pictures, ringtones and logos will have been replaced by a "heavier" content - music and video later. Then it's not surprising Nokia will pay special attention to mobile multimedia segment. That is also an industry-wide tendency and other manufacturers also take steps towards it.
Admitting the operators' role in the current phone realization chain the company announced its focus on customizing devices for operators' needs (operators' logos and menu on the phone, operators' headbands and call melodies, body colour). According to the manufacturer about 90 percent of phones launched in 2004 will have a possibility to adjust for operators. And thus we get three directions Nokia will keep in the next year - 3G phones release, developing software packets for fully functional mobile multimedia and phone tuning for operators. The announced strategy is not a sensation and corresponds with the main industry trends.
The first new device Nokia 6101 doesn't surprise with technical possibilities and it is mainly intended for showing adapting possibilities for operators' networks. This is a trial band comparatively small clamshell technically close to Nokia 7270. In the highest standards its main differences are an external antenna and another design that got closer to Korean manufacturers. Actually the company calls the design classical. The model will be sold since the 2Q 2005 with the price of less than 250 Euro.
Let's stress two new functions. That is a support for a recently announced Nokia Xpress standard that allows recording voice tags and sending them via GPRS. Second, the headset screen shows data about the melody being played and a caller's number.
The first operator version will appear for a Japanese operator China Mobile (CMCC is the biggest mobile connection operator in the world). The model index is Nokia 6102. The body was slightly changed as well as the buttons and its antenna, own starting headband in used, call melodies and access to the operator services via the menu.
The next new model is a 3G model Nokia 6680 and the company even calls it a 3G photosmartphone. It exists in three modifications Nokia 6680, 6681, 6682. The two latter models differ in the absence of support for 3G and the second camera (VGA) for video calls and only GSM is present.
In difference to other smartphones by Nokia the design of the new model is stricter and closer to a classical one. Hot memory card (RSMMC 1.8/3.0 V memory card) change, a shutter on the back panel closing a 1.3 megapixel camera are pleasant peculiarities.
While going into the model we noticed a comfortable joystick and a qualitative screen.
At a press conference the company announced collaboration with Microsoft concerning digital music. This collaboration means a support for the following technologies by Microsoft: Windows Media Audio - being a rival to MP3 music compression standard (though a usual mp3 will also be supported), Windows Media Digital Right Management - controlling rights.
Even in summer 2004 Motorola announced collaboration with Apple. The latter one develops an iTunes version for Motorola mobile phones. And Sony Ericsson announced a similar collaboration with Sony. In general the company truly considers the perspectives of mobile music high. According to the leading companies considering that plain melodies are so popular then mobile music success if guaranteed. That is probably true but what is an MMS story will happen again (after the SMS success the new multimedia success is guaranteed).
How melodies will be loaded and reproduced online was also shown:
Besides licensing ActiveSync protocol for better synchronization of clock with office products by Microsoft was announced. That mainly concerns corporate solutions, synchronization with Microsoft Exchange. That may be connected with a Blackberry technology responsible for e-mail delivery success, since Exchange Server version 2003 supports only protocol Always-up-to-date ActiveSync (AUTD ActiveSync) that was by the way licensed by palmOne. The main advantage similar to Blackberry - a message is directed to a mobile device at the moment after achieving the server (push mail). By this way the company hopes to strengthen its positions in the business segment where a Microsoft Exchange Server protocol is often used.
Anton Kotov (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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