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Mobile People & Living Technology at Nokia Connection 2005 Print E-mail
Written by Glenn Letham   
Friday, 24 June 2005
This past week (June 13-15), Nokia Communications division hosted an event billed as Nokia Connections 2005.  The company hosted an “invitation only” audience (including yours truly) in an effort to present and share details of their technology roadmap and the company’s vision of mobility.

In addition to a slew of “key” Nokia executives, a number of representatives from member companies enrolled in the Forum Nokia Pro developer program were also on hand. Read on for a closer look at "Mobile People & Living Technology"

A Bigger Piece of the Pie!

From the get go it was clear, Nokia is chasing market share and positioning itself to secure a big piece of the pie as mobile device usage is expected to swell from 200 million users Globally by year end (2005), to more than 300 million by 2010. Through its product and solution offerings the company boasts that they are creating opportunities for innovators.  As we have already seen/heard, Nokia used the event as a platform to announce some 7 new devices. Additionally, news of partnerships and solutions were also made at the event (for the complete low-down on these please see this News Archive). Further discussion is beyond the present scope of this piece.

About Nokia Connections

Key executives used the forum to discuss and inform us as to the strategy Nokia has adopted in an effort to move forward and gain market share. The key factor that was driven home was that Life is going mobile (recall back in the 90s it was voice going mobile).  As the company moves forward, we have been assured that Nokia will be putting forward products and solutions that will expand on mobile voice, focus solutions on enterprise mobility, and will increasingly mobilize business processes. We will see many new devices coming over the years, however, we have been reminded that the device is not enough... people need to share. Sharing, therefore, will also be a key factor that will determine the company’s strategy as they forge ahead.

Before I jump into some of the products and solutions announced this week, it’s important to look at a few points that define Nokia’s market share and list some key areas that are significant to the company:
- Nokia  has a target of at least 40% market share
- Expanding markets include mobile multi-media, enterprise mobility, and network services.
- Broadband wireless is/and will continue to drive new markets
- Speech and handwriting technologies are hot!
- Application developers are moving towards the smart phone environment and away from the PC
- Emerging markets are Russia, Asia Pacific, China, Middle East, Africa
- Linux OS is gaining speed
- The proliferation of wireless broadband usage (subscribers are expected to jump from 2.5 million to 30 million by 2009.
- Voice convergence driven by growth in WLAN uptake – the company will embrace new convergence business opportunities!
- Other trends to be aware of include WiFi, WiMax, RFID, and VoIP

Mobile trends

Expect 3 billion mobile device users by 2010!

Factors for Success

Nokia Senior VP and CSO, Tero Ojanpera reiterated to attendees a couple of key points… “The company is firmly focused on the customer”… key segments that will be targeted as they move ahead will be expanding the role of mobile voice and mobilizing the business process (a hint to you developers!) Other words of wisdom that I picked up on during the sessions… devices alone are note enough. People need to share information and the players that simplify things will be the winners (again, some great advice).

Nokia Connections

Ojanpera offered up some ideas of what he feels contribute greatly to the success of mobile innovations. If you plan on selling your idea to Nokia then the consumer “WOW” factor and brand recognition are paramount – it’s a great idea to ensure that your solution supports this concept. Tailoring your product to specific geographic regions is another key element so multi-language support as well as consideration for cultural differences will also go a long way. Finally, price point is not always a breaking point, however, a solution that adds value to the user is critical – be aware of this!

Nokia CTO Pertti Korhonen reiterated to attendees that technology is in fact an enabler for great human experiences. With all the pieces now coming together, the company’s latest devices (and planned devices) have been designed leverage what they term “Inspired Human Technology”. Regarding coming together, what Korhonen was referring to was the advent and subsequent uptake of WCDMA (rates of 3.6 MBs by 2006) , the presence of broadband wireless access, rich-media experiences enabled by large display screens, rich content, simple to use and speedy devices, personal content, and powerful software platforms. Now do you see the bigger picture? The hardware, communications, and other enablers are facilitating the delivery of more mobile content to the mobile device.

Nokia connections

The image above shows Korhonen making a video call to colleague Frank Nuovo (VP, Nokia Design). Using the nifty Nokia 6680 the pair captured video and shared a discussion, each seeing a video display being shot by the other. I also had a chance to make some video calls to colleagues while in attendance and it was as simple as making a voice call but definitely had a "WOW" effect on us!

So What About The Developer?

It’s no wonder Nokia is chasing a bigger piece of the pie. With an expected 3 billion mobile device users by 2010 there’s going to be plenty of competition for the new user.  Findings from a recent research indicate that “Hot” markets will be in Russia, Asia-Pacific, China, Middle-East, and Africa.

Several announcements made at the event support Nokia’s quest for market-share and are quite significant to the Symbian OS developer and Symbian user community.
- Series 40 3rd edition – likely the hottest news affecting the developer community
- The new N series of devices
- Nokia 770 Internet tablet
- Linux OS
- See http://www.symbianone.com/content/category/12/142/114/  for actual PR announcements.

Series 40 3rd Edition; New Opportunities For Consumers & Developers

Series 40 3rd Edition is hot news; particularly as this “entry level” OS will now provide even more functionality to the end user. Several new S40 devices were officially announced at Nokia Connection (6111, 6060, 6720, 6280, and 6265).

At v3, Series 40 now supports a larger display, 3D graphics, an attractive user interface, more personal features, new shortcuts, and perhaps most important, a focus on multi-media consumption. Additionally, Series 40 Platform 3rd Edition provides a number of new Java Specification Request (JSR) implementations that provide an expanded range of APIs, including interactive 3D graphics (JSR-184) and file connection and information management capabilities (JSR-75).  Perhaps the most exciting aspect of this latest release is that the new platform brings streaming video and audio to the mass market…. Enter some fantastic opportunities for developers and content providers. See http://www.symbianone.com/content/view/1927/114/ for the complete announcement on Series 40 v3.

Series 40

Series 40 v3 provides the user with an easy-to-use menu structure, very familiar to what Series 60 device users are accustomed to. 3D graphics make a nice addition as well!

Series 40 devices from Nokia have typically been targeted at the entry-level market, this for obvious reasons as the devices have historically been more “basic” and priced attractively to entice the new user. What I saw this week however, was a new lineup of Series40 devices that are stylish, feature-rich, and powerful! Factor in the number of Series 40 handsets that will ship over the next several years (I can only guess that the number greatly exceeds the current 25 million Symbian OS devices in use) and as a developer you should be drooling!

Nokia 6265Some of the functionality users will find in the latest series 40 handsets include:
- Tri-band, mega-pixel camera, MP3 player (6111)
- Stylish clamshell design, chrome accents, MP3 ring tones, pulsating light, MMS support (6060)
- 2 cameras (mega pixel & VGA), 8x digital zoom, 3G WCDMA support (6280)
- 2 mega-pixel camera, 320x240 QVGA color screen, digital music player, Bluetooth and IR connectivity (6265 - pictured right). The Nokia 6265 is likely the most feature-rich series 40 device on the market and will no doubt address the needs of the US market

For more about Series 40 see:
http://www.forum.nokia.com/main/0,6566,010_20,00.html

For specification on the 7 new devices announced in Helsinki see http://www.symbianone.com/content/view/1925/114/

Nokia 770 Internet Tablet

Something that came out of the 2 days of sessions in Helsinki was the fact that Nokia envisions a connected lifestyle. Moreover, the vision is one where the user has access to his office when and where he wants it. Another piece of the puzzle as the company moves towards the day when there are some 3 billion+ mobile device users is the Internet Tablet (aka. The Nokia 770).

The driving force behind the 770 is convergence. Nokia VP of Convergence Products Janne Jormalainen reinforced this by pointing out the following:
- 150 million households with broadband connected homes
- rapidly growing at 40% year
- 50% of all newly connected homes go with Wi-Fi
- 125,000+ Wi-Fi hotspots Globally
- VoIP is taking off and realizing huge growth rates

Nokia 770 Internet Tablet

The large screen makes browsing the Internet using the 770 a very comfortable experience

Wireless connectivity has now penetrated the office and the home and the trend will likely be that the home PC will increasingly become a repository of personal and business information and data. A challenge will be how the user will manage the vast amount of personal content that she is accumulating. Enter the Nokia 770.

Available Globally in Q3 2005, the 770 is expected to retails in the US$350 range. Users will enjoy a “massive” 4.13” wide, 800x480 resolution touch screen. Supporting applications include web browser, email client, news reader, Internet radio, media player, PDF viewer, Image viewer, Flash player, and file manager.

Other specifications:
- 64 MB RS-MMC
- WLAN 802.11 b/g
- USB connectivity
- Wi-Fi
- Bluetooth
- OS - Linux-based Internet Tablet 2005 software edition

The big question that I had when testing this nifty device was – how many supported applications will be available when it ships? Nokia will obviously be anxious to bundle and promote supported apps; therefore, application developers will need to start porting their mobile apps to the Linux environment if they already haven’t done so. Of interest… what I heard from the sessions regarding why Linux OS was that the tablet has been strategically designed based on IT rather than mobile technology and that the Linux OS will maximize innovation. Developers interested in creating Nokia 770 supported applications should consult http://www.maemo.org/. Simply put, Maemo is the development platform to create applications for Nokia 770 Internet Tablet and other maemo compliant handheld devices in the future. At the core of maemo is the Hildon Application framework, which is based on GNOME technology. GNOME provides an intuitive and attractive PC desktop for end-users based on Linux, and a powerful framework for building applications that integrate into the rest of the PC desktop.

For detailed specifications on the Nokia 770 see http://www.nokia.com/770

Speaking of Open Source, another significant announcement was briefly discussed at the event. Moving forward, Series 60 device users will be using a new web browser. Based on open source, the new browser, according to Nokia, will enable Series 60 licensees to further innovate and customize the browser.  Collaborating with Apple, the Series 60 browser will use the same open source components, WebCore and JavaScriptCore, that Apple uses in its popular Safari Internet browser. According to the official PR announcement (http://press.nokia.com/PR/200506/998214_5.html)The new Series 60 browser will be available to all Series 60 licensees as a standard Series 60 application during the first half of 2006.

N-Series - Supporting Mobile Multi Media

Supporting the market for multi-media consumption ranks high on Nokia’s agenda. As a result, the company has a number of solutions (devices) that enable the user to share, express, visualize, and hear their passions. Photos, video, TV, text messaging, music… this are all features that are in high demand and driving the market for multi-media consumption. Obviously, this is where the Symbian OS and Series 60 plays a key enabling role. It’s no surprise then that Anssi Vanjoki, Nokia VP & GM, Multi-Media was praising the latest Series 60 devices in the company’s portfolio… Nokia N90, N70, and N91 (on a side note… they will be available in the order mentioned).

Nokia N-90Moving forward, expect N-Series to be a key supporting platform (device) encouraging the consumption of multi-media applications and services. Optimized for imaging, the N90 (right) sports dual screens with high-def display so users can easily work in landscape or portrait modes.  The design enables the user to immediately have access to the camera functionality to minimize “lost opportunities”. Plenty of internal memory as well as a swappable MMC card support loads of storage. For music lovers, the N91 will be the device of choice. Once again plenty of storage is provided along with a 2 mega pixel camera. The N91 comes with an integrated FM radio as well as support for Visual Radio. Photo lovers will also dig the N70 as it offers instant access to the camera app., 2 mega pixel camera, 20x zoom, and built-in flash. Something that struck me was the new form factors that enable users to hold and use the device in the same way that you would with a “traditional” camera. Holding the device in landscape orientation with side-access to the capture button emulates this familiar feeling and the device even starts to look like a traditional camera… this will no-doubt appeal to the newcomer to mobile photography!

Nokia N-Series

Nokia's Anssi Vanjoki explains how N-Series is the enabling device for web browsing, Mobile TV, Visual Radio, photography, and even blogging!

Fixed-Mobile Voice Convergence

Although beyond the cope of this piece, another key concept that was evident in much of the discussion at the event was Nokia’s planned efforts to mobile enterprise voice. At the heart of this ambitions goal is the opportunity that exists by separating the fixed and mobile voice technology user. The vision… one business number & one voice mail. Nokia’s involvement with key players like OnRelay, Avaya, IBM, and Cisco will be key as devices converge and morph into wireless IP phones and WLAN technology enables mobile VoIP.

For more on this topic see:


These are but some of the topics that I found of interest at Nokia Connection 2005.  New devices are coming in the not-so-distant future; an enhanced OS in Series 40 v3 (and a more mature Series 60 v3) enable customization and a rich user experience; partnerships with key technology players and exciting new technologies have been struck. The result… developers will be a hot commodity to help satisfy the demand for multi-media services and applications.

Nokia Connection was an interesting event, as it provided a look at the vision of what is obviously a customer focused company. The motto "Life Goes Mobile" is clearly accurate, while Nokia's focus on  mobile voice, enterprise mobility, and rich content cannot be ignored. On more than one occasion these words of wisdom could be heard... "think outside the box"


Some buzzwords and hot areas to explore!
- connected multi-media
- skype
- VoIP
- WiFi
- WiMAX
- RFID
- WCDMA
- Location-based services

Glenn

Glenn pictured outside the Nokia factory, Salo, Finland. Did-U-Kow that Nokia manufactures roughly 500,000 devices every day... the Salo plant is one of several manufacturing locations around the Globe.

For more images and press from HElsinki See Here

Last Updated ( Monday, 27 June 2005 )
 


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