Nokia announces multimedia handsets for the mass market


Nokia has announced two new handsets in its ‘expression’ category for high volume consumer markets.

The 3650 is a Symbian OS smartphone running Nokia’s Series 60 platform. Building on the innovations introduced in the 7650, Nokia’s first Series 60 imaging phone, the new handset can capture video clips from its integrated digital camera and has an SD slot for memory expansion. The 3650 features a new industrial design, with a curvaceous form-factor, replaceable face-plates and a circular numeric key arrangement.

Series 60 provides a full set of communications and PIM applications, including support for Java MIDP 1.0, MMS and XHTML browsing. It is a tri-band device which can operate on GSM, HCSCD and GPRS networks. Bluetooth support is also included.

“Nokia is pleased to add another imaging phone with the Series 60 platform to its wide range of products. Through its visual and dynamic features the Nokia 3650 expands the superior imaging experience and MMS into the global market. The Nokia 3650 is the first phone with an integrated camera to be delivered to the North America. This phone will generate a lot of excitement among consumers,” said Juha Putkiranta, Senior Vice President, Imaging Business Unit, Nokia Mobile Phones.

In addition, Nokia also unveiled the 3510i. The dual-band device features a colour screen, support for Java MIDP 1.0 and MMS, polyphonic ringtones, WAP browsing and new face-plates which can be illuminated in time with a ringtone or gaming experience. It operates on GPRS networks and has a range of other popular features including vibrating alert, voice dialling and a clock screensaver.

“The Nokia 3510i brings a great quality color display to the consumer market. When you consider the additional exciting features such as MMS and Java technology, the Nokia 3510i is truly an exciting mobile phone,” said Kai Öistämö, Senior Vice President, Nokia Mobile Phones. “And users can personalize their phone to an unprecedented degree with our trendy functional accessory covers.”

Both handsets emphasise Nokia’s commitment to driving mass market adoption of mobile multimedia services. The 3650 is the first Symbian OS device for high volume consumer markets and will offer an unprecedented feature set for picture messaging, web and e-mail access, mobile gaming and PIM when it is introduced in Q1 2003. Nokia now has a full range of advanced handsets with support for colour, Java and GPRS, including the 6310 for professional users, the 7210 media phone and the latest 3000 series consumer models.

Insight

It’s hard to exagerate the importance of the 3650. This new handset represents a commitment from Nokia to provide the mass market with multimedia messaging capabilities in 2003. This will reassure investors, equipment manufacturers, operators and developers that 2002 was an exception and that growth should return in the near future.

The 3000 series is the highest selling product family in the wireless technology industry. So-called ‘budget’ handsets account for some 70% of the annual worldwide shipments of around 400m phones. Nokia has about 40% of this market and, as the flagship product, it is not unreasonably to expect the 3650 to sell tens of millions of units annually. If it was to represent 50% of Nokia’s budget phone sales, it would account for 56m units.

As a Symbian OS and Series 60 device, this has significant implications for both the Symbian venture and developers. For Symbian, it virtually assures the company of reaching its annual break-even target of 15m – 20m licenses. Third party developers will have a huge new market to target with mobile Java applications, which is set to grow further when Siemens, Samsung and Matsushita release their Series 60 devices.

Nokia has recognised the challenge facing the industry as it concludes one of the most difficult years in its history and is meeting its obligations as a market leader admirably. The company has further product launches scheduled throughout 2002, including its first 3G handset on 26th September.


Originally published by PMN Mobile Industry Intelligence, the subscription-based analysis and insight platform founded by Marek Pawlowski.
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