Nokia announces new devices will put the company back on track as the mobile market leader- Nokia World Conference

Posted on September 15, 2010

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London – Finnish cellphone manufacturer Nokia has announced a range of new cellphones at its annual Nokia World conference. The new devices are designed to re-establish Nokia as a market leader in mobile, and include a successor to the highly popular Nokia Communicator device.

All run Nokia’s Symbian operating system – a family of open source operating systems and software platforms designed for smartphones.

“Today our fight back to smartphone leadership shifts into high gear,” said executive vice-president Niklas Savander. “Our new family of smartphones feature the all-new Symbian operating system, rewritten to be faster, easier to use, more efficient and more developer friendly.”

In an interview with Fin24.com, Savandar said Nokia was committed to Symbian, but would later include devices running a system called MeeGo that Nokia has developed in partnership with Intel. He said Nokia would not even consider running Android – the Google mobile operating system in use by many of Nokia’s competitors.

“Android is not an option,” said Savandar. The flagship device to be released by the company in coming months is the Nokia N8 that will be available in SA in October.

“Based on the level of consumer interest and the highest online pre-orders in Nokia history, we expect big things from the Nokia N8,” said Savandar.

Another Nokia senior vice-president and the company’s smartphone champion, Anssi Vanjoki, disclosed that other devices to be unveiled soon include the Nokia E7, C7 and C6.

He said the Nokia E7 is the long-awaited successor to the Communicator.

“It is the ultimate business smartphone. With Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync on board, the Nokia E7 provides direct, real time and secure access to corporate email inboxes and other personal applications. The Nokia E7 is the perfect shape and size to work on documents, review spreadsheets, or read and edit slides,” he said.

The C7 and C6 are more consumer-orientated and aim at cheaper price points. They are designed for media playback, social networking with services like Facebook and Twitter, and converged communications.

Vanjoki announced his resignation from Nokia the day before Nokia World 2010 commenced, following the ousting of the company’s CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo the week b

Judging from the level of applause at the Nokia World developer summit event in London on Tuesday, Anssi Vanjoki, Nokia’s Executive Vice President of Mobile Solutions, is the star of the mobile phones giant.

His speech in London ended in lengthy applause, with some of the data professionals in the audience actually standing up – a most unusual occurrence at a Nokia event.

Vanjoki had just announced his impending resignation from Nokia after nearly 20 years with the company. He gave notice during the weekend after he was not named the company’s new CEO.

On the stage, Vanjoki’s performance showed considerable self-confidence and boyish enthusiasm. He even managed to put some humour into his presentation, and there was no sign of any bitterness over recent events.

Vanjoki said that he is confident that Nokia’s new handset models, which use the Symbian 3 platform, will significantly ease the company’s current troubles.

Vanjoki’s colleague Niklas Savander, Executive Vice President of Markets, predicted that Nokia would sell 50 million Symbian 3 phones in the next two years.

“The estimate is quite conservative”, Vanjoki said a couple of hours after addressing the gathering.

The Symbian 3 phones are smartphones with touch screens with applications that go far beyond making telephone calls. On Tuesday, Nokia announced the introduction of three models in three different price ranges.

Most investors and market analysts do not believe that the new Symbian 3 phones will help Nokia catch up with Apple’s iPhones.

Profitability of the company’s Devices and Services unit has weakened considerably in recent years because demand for expensive smartphone models has deceased.

Vanjoki nevertheless said that he is not worried about the company’s order books. He also does not accept the suggestion that Symbian 3 is just an interim phase.

Nokia has revamped its organisation over the past year to help promote better product development.

Vanjoki admits that software development was dispersed in several small and separate projects, and that only now has Symbian been turned into a real programme platform.

There was one disappointment at the London event. There was no mention of the MeeGo operating system developed in cooperation with Intel, which is one of the milestones on which investors have placed much hope.

A project was launched at Nokia in 2002 under Vanjoki’s leadership, focussing on the development of an operating system of completely new devices.

Vanjoki told his audience that in 2002 Nokia announced that it would produce five products in this category to come out at 18-month intervals. He promised that the fifth would be a fantastic consumer product. The product will be a MeeGo which is to come out at the end of the year.

Vanjoki said that it could mean devices with several different screens. The software can be used in a car and on a television, making the devices quite different from what today’s smartphones are.

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