Many people have reported from the recent introduction of three new Nokia phones in Berlin. What’s even more exciting for me than this is that the whole event was recorded and is now available via webcast. To view the webcast, click on ‘webcast’ in the top right corner of the linked page.
I like presentations like this which do not push the products too plainly but rather the ideas behind them. Here are the main buzzwords that were used throughout the presentation and what I think about them:
- "Multi Radio Device" to indicate that some of the NSeries phones (N80, N93) now include WiFi on top of GSM, EDGE, UMTS and Bluetooth to share information, interact with other people and upload and download content such as videos, music, etc. For me including Wifi in the mobile phone will open up completely new dimensions (see for example my post about the personal mobile web server) as the ‘phone’ is not longer an isolated device but becomes a part of the network at home.
- "Multimedia Computer": Nokia see their Nseries products not as ‘phones’ anymore but as ‘multimedia computers’. The telephony functionality is just one of the many functions. They use the word computer to indicate that NSeries phones are smartphones with many applications. Most important of all, they are programmable and thus not rigid like other multimedia devices such as digital cameras or camcorders. Personally I haven’t yet gotten used to this term. For me a computer is still something you don’t carry around with you all the time. Well, maybe that is part of the transformation process.
- "Citizen Journalism": Justin Dyche of the BBC did an impressive presentation of how the news media today gets pictures and videos from events just minutes after they’ve happened, much faster then they can be there themselves. He also talked about how the BBC makes use of 3G phones and networks to be there first.
- Content Creation by the User: While citizen journalism described above is a many (citizen) to few (news organizations) application, User Content Creation on the mobile phone for others goes one step further and many people create content for many others.
- 3rd Party Applications: While in the past Nokia mainly focused like most others to push their own brand it seems that for the multimedia age and the ‘multimedia computer’ they have changed tactics and realized that a rich ecosystem of applications is the path to success. So the presentation was full of talk about 3rd party applications that run on Nokia Nseries phones (sorry for using the ‘p’ word again, it’s still to deeply embedded within me…) like for example a native Flickr Application that will come prepackaged with the new phones and how important this is. Indeed, I have to agree with them, this is the main fact that differentiates a ‘multimedia computer’ from other mobile multimedia devices today. Also, it opens the platform for applications that do not even exist when the phones are first shipped.
For me, the key is the device’s ability to communicate with the Internet. Without that link, the multimedia computer is just another fancy gadget in line with mobile cameras and gameboys. To me, Nokia’s multimedia and communication strategy makes a lot of sense. Can’t wait to get an N80 or N93 in my hands, with hopefully a bundle of extra software on top of what’s already there today.
I am well aware that such shows are marketing events run by marketing people. However, I just wonder how close marketing, R&D and design work together to produce such a show and in creating new products in general!? I am a strong advocate in letting ideas flow between those groups. Having a strong R&D background I don’t really want to work in marketing which is only focused on selling the product. Marketing for me also means to listen to customers, have your own ideas, and be in constant communication with design and R&D to let ideas flow in all directions. I wonder how much of this is done in Nokia?
So you guys from Nokia and S60: How about some comments or trackbacks?