Ovi Smokes! Nokia Breaks It Down - InformationWeek

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8/29/2007
08:55 AM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
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Ovi Smokes! Nokia Breaks It Down

Today in London, Nokia unveiled a number of new handsets as well as revamped media services under the new brand name Ovi.

Today in London, Nokia unveiled a number of new handsets as well as revamped media services under the new brand name Ovi.What we've suspected was going to be announced today has finally come to light. Nokia is hosting a number of journalists and analysts at its Nokia Go Play conference in London. During the keynote sessions this morning, Nokia announced a number of new initiatives, taking a bigger aim at providing content as well as devices.

Part of Nokia's year-long reorganization, the division formerly known as the Internet Services division is now being called Ovi. Ovi, which means 'door' in Finnish, is an umbrella brand overseeing all of Nokia's content services. This includes the new N-Gage gaming service, as well as Nokia Music Store, both also announced this morning.

The N-Gage gaming service is an attempt to rebrand its failed N-Gage gaming devices. Rather than be specific phones, the new N-Gage platform is a service for S60 phones. The service will allow people to hunt for games--as well as opponents--take games for a test drive before buying them, and will work on a select set of Symbian S60 devices. The first of which, the N81 (a new N Series multimedia computer also announced today) will be available in November. Games will be available from a fairly wide selection of gaming content developers and will cost anywhere form 6 to 10 Euros.

The Nokia Music Store is Nokia's stab at Apple and the iPhone. It will be going live in the fourth quarter of this year, and when it does, users will be able to download millions of songs to their S60 phones or PCs. Files will be DRM-protected WMA files ripped at 192 K/bits per second. The same file will be downloaded to the PC and the handset. There will not be a second, mobile-optimized version of the songs. Tracks will cost 1 Euro and albums will cost 10 Euros. You can also stream music to a PC for 10 Euros. The music store will launch in certain European companies later this year, with others following in 2008. No word on if or when the music store will be available in the U.S.

It also bowed two new versions of the N95 (one for the U.S. 3G network, and one for the rest of the world with 8GB of internal memory), and two other music-centric handsets, the 5610 XpressMusic and the 5310 XpressMusic. All the phones will be available in the fourth quarter.

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