Social Networking 2.M (part three…and yes, this means mobile)

I have certainly spoken about this before (and here a few months later), but with all the hullabaloo surrounding both the mobile industry and the social networking space, I feel it is crucial to return to the theme of mobile social networks and the personal nature of the handset. In a recent press release, an executive from Nokia had this to;

“While cost sensitivity is an important element in creating mobile devices for emerging markets, the overwhelming feedback we receive from consumers in these markets is that they want their mobile device to complement their personality and offer a range of colours and entertainment features,” says Alex Lambeek, Vice President, Entry Devices, Nokia.

For emerging markets and young people, mobile phone’s are becoming more and more of a reflectiion of themselves, just like their Facebook accounts’ (I would say this is also true for many adults in the US). wrote a piece the other day about the fact that Nokia and Facebook are working together on various initiatives to integrate Facebook services with the handset giant’s devices. This is an incredibly prescient venture by Nokia.

This is not Nokia’s first attempt to bring social networking to the handset, but Nokia seems to be closer to hitting the nail on the head with this move.

With the opening of wireless networks and the potentially disruptive nature of the 700 MHz spectrum auction, it has never been more important to be aligned with value added services as a means to avoid becoming commodity. It is obvious that Nokia realizes that both the iPhone and Android could become increasingly powerful in the mobile space, and this potential could have an adverse effect on the handset business.

While certain carriers continue to invest in their “walled garden” or “on deck” mobile software, the obvious strategy seems to be one akin to what Nokia has planned; build good devices with value added services that can run on any network.

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