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Nokia “steps three years back”

I found this overview from Timo Poropudas in the Mobile Monday newsletter rather interesting reading:

Three years ago Nokia pared down Club Nokia and stopped selling music, graphics and games from its Club Nokia store. Then Nokia denied it ever wanted to challenge the operators. Club Nokia was portrayed as a showcase of new mobile phones.

On the one hand, Club Nokia was considered a huge future income generator, but on the other, it was seen as a serious stumbling block in good operator relations.

‘Now there are thousands of providers and we don’t need to do market making. We didn’t see it as a core business for Nokia,” the company said at the time.

The tune of the company is now totally different. It has been building content services last couple of years. In February 2005 Nokia announced a white label music downloading service for 3G operators together with Loudeye. A year ago Nokia bought Loudeye for USD 60 million.

Timo’s piece goes on to discuss Nokia’s new ‘Ovi’ content service and the changing relationship between hardware venues and their biggest customers, the mobile operators.

Timo concludes by predicting ‘turbulence’ around the fact that Nokia is clearly serious about content.

I really, really, really have a big problem when companies like Nokia can’t make a decision. I understand that flexibility is to be prized in such large organisations, but I’m rather disappointed that Nokia — a handset maker of distinction — has decided to become a content player.

I don’t mind that at all. What I mind is stupid, stupid interfaces and shit content — stuff that doesn’t quite work. I’ll take a look at Ovi. I trust it’s as convenient and as easy to use as iTunes. If it’s not, then it’s dead.

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

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