It appears that Nokia does not learn easily. Long ago, in the year 2000, when it tried to launch mobile services that included downloading of song snippets as ringtones, operators were not very happy since that would have eaten into a revenue source that they were eying themselves. It seems like Nokia would like to try this approach again. After all, being just a handset provider may not be enough in these times of touch competition from other handset providers, and a seemingly easy pot of gold sitting there waiting for them to just grab it. And why would they not think such a thing, with operators failing to get a strategy that would help them grab users for high-data plans; and Nokia having an incredible number of music enabled phones in the market today, and in the hands of users.
On Aug. 29, at a London press conference in a converted fish market alongside the Thames, Nokia's chief executive Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo unveiled plans to launch a slew of services for mobile users—initially in Europe and Asia, and perhaps later in the U.S. Called Ovi (Finnish for "door") the gateway to music, photos, maps, and other content will be available starting later this year.
This time around, mobile operators may be willing to join in. The scheme includes an online music store rivaling Apple's iTunes, aimed primarily, but not exclusively, at the 200 million music-capable Nokia mobile phones already on the market. It also features an interactive multiplayer game service accessible to the 40 million Nokia Nseries phones now in use. And early next year, Nokia will add a service that lets consumers swap personal photos, videos, and audio.
The plan is ambitious, but it has several pitfalls. For example, operators are not likely to be very happy because they see service revenue as something that belongs to them, and not to a lowly hardware maker. In addition, this is a very fickle market and Nokia needs to let this particular section be very creative if it wants to attract users, and one is not sure about whether Nokia is capable of that.