Nokia OVI – Nokia is now an “Internet services” company and no more a mobile manufacturer

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With the launch of Ovi, Nokia unleashed it’s new avatar of being an “Internet services” company and no more just the mobile manufacturer.

What’s OVI?
OVI is the door (thats what ovi means in Finnish. i.e. door) to Nokia’s Internet services, including Nokia Music Store, Nokia Maps, and N-Gage games. It’s a service for music download, games, maps and other online streaming applications. Nokia also plans to be a little web2ish – i.e. build mobile social communities around the services.

nokia ovi

Launch details?
OVI will be launched in Europe and Asia – prime reason being products like iPhone will not be available in these markets for another few months. Moreover, Nokia has a strong hold in these regions, which are witnessing a boom in mobile penetration.

Ovi will be launched in Q4 2007 – most probably before Christmas time to capitalize on the huge spending spree.

Cost?
Gaming services will be in the range of 6 euros to 10 euros. Songs will be sold for 1 euro each.

Market?
Globally, the multimedia phone market is expected to grow by 50 per cent to 120 million units this year from 80 million in 2006. The VAS market is huge – for instance, the VAS market in India is expected to touch 8200 crore by March 2008 (source).

Competitors?
Too many! Right from Apple’s iTune store to mobile operators to VAS providers.

It would be interesting to see how operators react to this.

“European mobile phone operators will be announcing their line-up of handsets for the Christmas market within the next month, and there are fears that the N81 music phone could be left off the list. Orange, for example, has threatened to not offer the music phone unless it can test the device further.”

“There is not only one operator strategy out there.There are many operators who say we don’t have the resources to develop our own services and are saying please Nokia give us a platform,” he said. If operators did not want to use Nokia’s Ovi service, Nokia would continue to support them in other ways, (source)

Sanjay Swamy, CEO of mChek shares his view on the same:

It’s a big step – imagine buying a phone on a rental/subscription basis – paying for content, not the phone?

Is Nokia trying to be a closed walled-garden product (with bundled services?) or a platform for a richer mobile experience? What do you think? What’s your first impression?

tags: nokia ovi

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