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More Java Technology Now in the Hands of Nokia Customers, Says Executive
More Java Technology Now in the Hands of Nokia Customers, Says Executive

(March 12, 2002) - Despite its present financial performance troubles - with sales down 25% in the last quarter - Finnish powerhouse Nokia made its play for the attention of attendees at this year's CeBit technology fair by launching its latest J2ME-supported phones, complete with triband functionality, MMS capability, and…wait for it…polyphonic MIDI sounds.

"With the new terminals supporting Multimedia Messaging and Java technology," Matti Alahuhta, president, Nokia Mobile Phones, told today's Nokia press conference, "the user experience is greatly enhanced and customers will be able to grasp what the mobile world is all about."

He means the 2.5G / 3G mobile world, of course. By now one or two of us have just about managed to figure out what the first generation mobile world is all about!

"This spring marks a significant time for our industry, as many of our technology promises start materializing in the hands of consumers," Alahuhta continued.

Nokia was the prime mover of course in starting OMA, the Open Mobile Architecture initiative, at the end of last year - in order to manage the complexity and match the expectations of the future - and Alahuhta added that Nokia has been very pleased to see it gathering momentum. "With over 30 companies now expressing their support for the principles of open- and standards-based solutions and multivendor interoperability, we are confident that an open and global mobile services market will take off," he said.

What has Nokia released, more specifically?

The latest member in Nokia's line of "fashion phones," as they have inevitably become known, is the Nokia 7210 - which will feature a high-resolution color screen (4096 colors, no less), MMS capability, support for downloading Java applications, and a stereo FM radio. Nokia's newest fashion phone is also a globetrotter, functioning on five continents wherever GSM/GPRS 900/1800/1900 networks are available.

The Nokia 6310i, Nokia's newest "classic" category phone, is also a triband mobile phone. It will provide mobile Internet access via WAP over GPRS, fast data connections over HSCSD, and enhanced connectivity with integrated Bluetooth technology, said Nokia.

Nokia today also introduced two new phones for what it calls its "expression" category. Although the 3510 is for European, African, and Asia-Pacific markets, and the 3410 is for European and African markets, it's the 3510 that's the company's first expression category phone to have GPRS, polyphonic (MIDI) sounds and what Nokia called "Value Added Services over Multimedia Messaging capability."

("VAS over MMS capability," Nokia explained enthusiastically, "will bring new dimensions to personal communications with the possibility to receive rich value added services like screen savers and polyphonic ring tones." So now you know.) The Nokia 3410, in turn, will feature Java 2 Micro Edition (J2ME) support for downloading what the Finnish company called 'exciting and fun new applications." It's actually Nokia's first mass-market product open for independent software developers to offer Java applications to consumers.

Other new features include a 3D graphics engine enabling 3-dimensional animated screensavers and a Picture Editor for personal picture message creation.

Nokia today also welcomed a new member to its Communicator Series, the Nokia 9210i Communicator. The new Communicator is packed with a full set of new apps and enlarged internal memory capacity. It's also the first Nokia device to feature a Web browser supporting JavaScripts, a Flash Player for the playback of Macromedia Flash animations, and a RealOne Player enabling real-time video and audio streaming in HSCSD networks.

When will folks actually see them? Five of the six new products will be available during the second quarter of 2002, and one - no guessing which one, it's of course all-singin', all dancin' Nokia 7210 - not till the third quarter.

In Nokia's press conference, Nokia and RealNetworks announced the inclusion of the RealOne Player, with support for 3GPP media formats, RealAudio, and RealVideo, as a standard feature on Nokia's Series 60 platform and Nokia phones based on the Symbian OS. This cooperation will enable millions of mobile consumers worldwide to enjoy live and on-demand access to digital audio and video for information and entertainment.

Nokia further announced a multiyear agreement with Lucasfilm to bring the adventure of the Star Wars saga to the mobile world via Club Nokia. Nokia phone owners will be able to download Star Wars-related content such as still and animated graphics, traditional and polyphonic ring tones, MMS services and a variety of mobile games, including Java games.

The Hannover press conference was paralleled by a "Style My Mobile World" event held on the other side of the world…in Melbourne, Australia. Wireless knows no geographical boundaries, even when it comes to product launches.

About Jeremy Geelan
Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

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