Nokia opens door to Ovi

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At London’s Old Billingsgate, Nokia chief executive Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo told an international audience of hacks and analysts: “Devices alone are no longer enough. People want more – a complete experience. We want to transform Nokia into a company that creates internet-driven experiences. We want to think beyond devices.”

Chiefly, Nokia unveiled a new internet proposition, called ‘Ovi’ (Finnish for ‘doorway’), through which it will offer a range of content and services: music, gaming and mapping to start with. It is still very early days, but Ovi’s selling point in a crowded market place is its integration of content and services across PC and mobile phones, said Nokia. It is the key to Nokia’s new direction.

Kallasvuo said: “The industry is converging towards internet-driven experiences, and Ovirepresents Nokia’s vision of combining the internet and mobility.”

Nokia executive vice-president and general manager of mobile phones Kai Oistamo added: “Ovi is just a name today, but it will grow into a completely integrated environment.”

Against the backdrop of the nascent Ovi web proposition, slated for launch in November, Nokia announced four new handsets (see box on next page), including a revamped N95 and its new headline music and gaming device, the N81.

It also showed off two mid-range music devices, the 5310 candybar and 5610 slider phone, which bear Nokia’s new ‘XpressMusic’ music sub-brand.

This will operate much like Sony Ericsson’s Walkman brand on its leading MP3-enabled handsets. Short-keys to music applications are included.

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