As Apple continues to conquer the digital download market, the threat of Apple achieving the same status in the mobile arena is weighing heavily upon the mobile industry. Apple's potential stronghold in the mobile industry is subsequently posing a threat to various related industries. Entertainment and gaming are two industries becoming more inextricably linked to the mobile devices than ever before, and if Apple gains enough control over the handset, they will inevitably gain control over the things that run on the handset.
In response to Apple's mobile play, Nokia issued a series of press releases announcing various devices and services for the mobile consumer.
Ovi and Content Convergence
The idea of content convergence is often mistaken. I often make reference to Henry Jenkins’ notion of The Black Box Fallacy which refers to how people tend to think, one day all of our media will be contained in one unit. This will most likely not be the case (can you imagine carrying around a cable box all day :) ).
The reality is that we will have many devices for different purposes (the bedroom, the car, personal devices) but the content will be interoperable across a variety of devices. (For example, Facebook online will contain the same information as the Facebook that is accessed via a mobile phone, however the interface will be appropriated for your phone, taking into account the time and place that one uses their phone).
The diagram above is a model of how content convergence/hardware divergence works.
As usual I digress, back to Ovi
Ovi is the name of Nokia’s new internet services brand. Ovi is Finnish for “door”. The metaphor here is apparent; Ovi is the door to your all of your digital content and your social network. Ovi will also act as a door to two of their other new services, The Nokia Music Store (a platform that rivals iTunes) and N-Gage, Nokia’s mobile gaming service.
Incidentally, I love the copy on the site that refers to N-Gage:
“Keep the action going while you’re on the go with the power of N-Gage”
This line furthers the notion that the gaming does not stop when you turn the console off. The convergent nature of emerging platforms is made for gamers on the go.
The Nokia Music Store
I got an iPhone about a month ago and the one thing I cannot do with it that I want to do (besides cut and paste) is download music on the spot. It seems like a no-brainer, right?
"The Nokia Music Store brings together a powerful combination of great music and great devices in an easy to use way. You can select from a huge range of music, including local music from your country, and download it directly to your Nokia device," say’s Tommi Mustonen, the head of Nokia's music activities.
This is a big step.
Payment can be made by a variety of methods including paypal. This is certainly a big step as mobile commerce becomes more of a reality. There is another point in the release that I thought was very compelling,
…the Nokia Music Store aims to provide more locally relevant music than any other digital music store. If you want to see what others are enjoying, the Nokia Music Store provides a dynamic recommendations engine as well as genre-based instant playlists.
The one drawback to all this (for me) is that there was no mention of a US release date, however the music store will be opening across key European markets this fall with additional stores in Europe and Asia opening over the coming months.