Tag Archives: Nokia

Nokia announces finalists in 2009 “Calling All Innovators” global developer competition

The news below was announced yesterday by Nokia. The finalists in the mobile apps competition seem to be bringing some interesting mobile solutions to mobile payments, job search problems and location aware services.

Espoo, Finland – Forum Nokia Developer Community (FNDC) today announced the finalists in its 2009 Calling All Innovators contest, a global mobile developer competition designed to generate applications and solutions that enhance the use of Nokia mobile devices in real-world scenarios.
The total cash and prizes for the 2009 Calling All Innovators contest are worth more than $250,000. The top three submissions in each category will receive a cash award, and prizes that include premium placement featuring the winning application in Nokia’s Ovi Store, and the opportunity to demo their winning apps at Nokia World.
Over 1,700 submissions were received from developers in 85 countries signaling a strong answer to Nokia’s challenge to think big and create mobile applications and services that can help build a better mobile user experience. More than 421,000 visits to the contest website from around the world engaged with FNDC, the world’s largest mobile developer community.
“The quantity and quality of the applications we received are astounding,” said Purnima Kochikar, vice president, Forum Nokia Developer Community, Nokia.  “We encourage our developer community to work with us to extend their market reach, taking advantage of our global presence, global distribution through Ovi Store and local market knowledge. Turning the spotlight on our developers in marketing efforts like Calling All Innovators is just one way we can expose the best mobile applications from our developer community to consumers around the world.”
A complete list of Forum Nokia’s Calling All Innovators finalists including video demonstrations of the applications can be found online at http://www.callingallinnovators.com.  Following are the finalists in the 2009 Calling All Innovators global contest:
Internet Innovation – Developers were asked to submit either web applications known as Web Runtime widgets, or websites which are optimized for mobile browsing with Nokia devices.
– Pixelpipe for Share Online – This WRT widget application from San Francisco-based Pixelpipe, enables individuals to create and configure Nokia Share Online to use the Pixelpipe Media Gateway to distribute photos, video, audio and files to more than 90 popular social networking, photo/video, and blog services directly from the built-in phone gallery and camera applications. Developer website: http://pixelpipe.com/
– Dianping – This widget for one of the top websites in mainland China provides information about more than 275,000 restaurants, including descriptions, recommended dishes, address, phone number, price range and more. Individuals can search for restaurants by districts, categories, price range and key words. The application includes access to more than 7.5 million restaurant reviews, and coupons for restaurants, too. Developer website: http://www.dianping.com/citylist
– Tech Buzz Homescreen Widget – The Tech Buzz Widget from UK-based Mippin, is a fast, elegant way to reliably access the latest tech news anywhere on Nokia mobile devices. It regularly downloads tech stories from across the web, displaying the headlines and images in rotation on the Nokia N97 home screen, to give users immediate access. Developer website: http://www.mippin.com/web/index.jsp?p=2
Flash – Developers were asked to submit applications that expand the capabilities of Adobe Flash Lite on Nokia devices.
– FLORIN – Personal Finance Tracker – With the FLORIN flash-based application from UK-based BlueskyNorth, consumers have access to a highly capable, but easy to use personal finance tracker for use on Nokia Series 60 5th Edition devices. Developer website: http://www.blueskynorth.com/index.php
– Reuters Slideshow – The Reuters Slideshow app from UK-based Tui Interactive Media, combines Flash and WRT widget functionality to deliver a constantly updated feed of pictures and news. Coupled with its mini-view for use on S60 5th Edition devices, the application offers an engaging way to catch up on the latest news. Developer website: http://www.tui.co.uk/
– ActiveChinese – This mobile educational application, from the company of the same name, is comprised of 10 flash-animated lessons for English speakers to begin to learn how to speak Chinese. A series of built-in flashcards provides the most useful word and phrases, and includes: the Chinese character, Chinese pronunciation, PinYin, and the English translation. Developer website: http://www.activechinese.com/
Emerging Markets and Mobile Necessities – Developers were asked to submit applications or solutions that are the most innovative application using Nokia platforms, ranging from SMS through Series 40 and S60 device platforms. All applications would be evaluated, including those developed using Java, Python or open source.
– Mobile JobHunt – Inspired by Nokia Life Tools in India, Mobile JobHunt from LEG aims to help people in rural areas in China. JobHunt provides timely and accurate job information from major cities on Series 40 Nokia phones. Other related services include employment news, skills training, employment legal rights, and entertainment. Developer website: http://www.leg3s.com
– Mobile Credit Card Terminal – Mobile Credit Card Terminal from 2C2P in Singapore gives business owners the ability to charge a credit card/debit card, and to manage transactions securely from Nokia S60 devices without additional equipment. Developer website: http://www.2c2p.com/
– Blue Home – Created by Binu Johnson in India, Blue-Home installed on a Nokia S60 mobile device, and hardware in the home that can be purchased for approximately $30, an individual can monitor and operate six home appliances via Bluetooth in the mobile device. Developer website: http://www.bluehome.info/
Apps on Maps – Developers were asked to submit new ideas that harness the power of location-aware services using Ovi Maps on Nokia devices. From all of the ideas submitted, 14 developers were given exclusive access to the Ovi Beta SDK to turn their ideas into a completed application for use on Nokia devices.
– PocketLife – from Wanaka, New Zealand, is an established location-based social network for web and mobile. As a location-based lifestyle app, with Pocket Life for Ovi Maps on your Nokia device, individuals can always be in touch with their closest friends, down to knowing precisely where they are at that given time. Using Pocket Life, individuals can discover new places, share photos, and quickly know their way around like a local. Developer website: http://www.pocketlife.com
– Ground Guidance – How do you navigate when there are no roads? Ground Guidance with Ovi Maps solves this problem. With technology originally built for the U.S. Army, St. Paul, Minnesota-based Primordial uses an innovative, patented technique, combined with a wide range of data sources to create a walk-able route where no road data exists. Pick any two points in the app, and the user will be presented with a walk-able path to take. Developer website: http://www.primordial.com
– Smart Eggs – submitted by Forum Nokia PRO member company, MSCorp based in Coral Springs, Florida, will bring the thrill of discovery and surprise to your explorations when using Ovi Maps. Crack open a Smart Egg to get a multimedia review of the latest movie, or tips about special promotions from nearby shops. Engage in a mobile treasure hunt with your friends, collecting codes inside Premium Smart Eggs. This mobile app for brands, artists, and venues interacts with consumers at the local level, while promoting the use of multiple Nokia services and platforms, including Ovi Maps and more. Developer website: http://www.mscorp.com/
The winners in the Internet Innovation, Flash, and Emerging Markets and Mobile Necessities categories will be announced on September 1, in the evening prior to Nokia World 2009 in Stuttgart, Germany at an awards ceremony being held at the Porsche Museum. The Apps on Maps winners will be announced on September 3, during Nokia World.
In the Flash category, there is an additional prize of $10,000 USD for one application that also received funds from the Open Screen Project Fund (http://openscreen.forum.nokia.com/) this year.
Finally, the top 10 submissions in all three categories will receive the “Judge’s Choice Award”, which provides a one-year membership in Forum Nokia Launchpad (value of 300 euros). All Forum Nokia Launchpad members receive access to exclusive resources and support.
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Iranian consumers boycott Nokia for ‘collaboration’

by Saeed Kamali Dehghan
Tuesday 14 July 2009 21.22 BST

The mobile phone company Nokia is being hit by a growing economic boycott in Iran as consumers sympathetic to the post-election protest movement begin targeting a string of companies deemed to be collaborating with the regime.

Wholesale vendors in the capital report that demand for Nokia handsets has fallen by as much as half in the wake of calls to boycott Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) for selling communications monitoring systems to Iran.

There are signs that the boycott is spreading: consumers are shunning SMS messaging in protest at the perceived complicity with the regime by the state telecoms company, TCI. Iran’s state-run broadcaster has been hit by a collapse in advertising as companies fear being blacklisted in a Facebook petition. There is also anecdotal evidence that people are moving money out of state banks and into private banks.

Nokia is the most prominent western company to suffer from its dealings with the Iranian authorities. Its NSN joint venture with Siemens provided Iran with a monitoring system as it expanded a mobile network last year. NSN says the technology is standard issue to dozens of countries, but protesters believe the company could have provided the network without the monitoring function.

Siemens is also accused of providing Iran with an internet filtering system called Webwasher.

“Iranians’ first choice has been Nokia cellphones for several years, partly because Nokia has installed the facility in the country. But in the past weeks, customers’ priority has changed,” said Reza, a mobile phone seller in Tehran’s Big Bazaar.

“Since the news spread that NSN had sold electronic surveillance systems to the Iranian government, people have decided to buy other company’s products although they know that Nokia cellphones function better with network coverage in Iran.”

Some Tehran shops have removed Nokia phones from their window displays. Hashem, another mobile phone vendor, said: “I don’t like to lose my customers and now people don’t feel happy seeing Nokia’s products. We even had customers who wanted to refund their new Nokia cellphones or change them with just another cellphone from any other companies.

“It’s not just a limited case to my shop – I’m also a wholesaler to small shops in provincial markets, and I can say that there is half the demand for Nokia’s product these days in comparison with just one month ago, and it’s really unprecedented. People feel ashamed of having Nokia cellphones,” he added.

News of the boycott has appeared on the front page of Iranian pro-reform papers such as Etemad-e Melli, owned by the reformist candidate Mehdi Karroubi. Hadi Heidari, a prominent Iranian cartoonist, has published an image of a Nokia phone on a No Entry traffic sign.

A Nokia spokeswoman refused to comment on the company’s sales in Iran.

The Iranian authorities are believed to have used Nokia’s mobile phone monitoring system to target dissidents. Released prisoners have revealed that the authorities were keeping them in custody on the basis of their SMS and phone calls archive, which was at officials’ disposal.

One Iranian journalist who has just been released from detention said: “I always had this impression that monitoring calls is just a rumour for threatening us from continuing our job properly, but the nightmare became real when they had my phone calls – conversations in my case.

“And the most unbelievable thing for me is that Nokia sold this system to our government. It would be a reasonable excuse for Nokia if they had sold the monitoring technology to a democratic country for controlling child abuse or other uses, but selling it to the Iranian government with a very clear background of human rights violence and suppression of dissent, it’s just inexcusable for me. I’d like to tell Nokia that I’m tortured because they had sold this damn technology to our government.”

NSN spokesman Ben Roome said: “As in every other country, telecoms networks in Iran require the capability to lawfully intercept voice calls. In the last two years, the number of mobile subscribers in Iran has grown from 12 million to over 53 million, so to expand the network in the second half of 2008 we were required to provide the facility to intercept voice calls on this network.”

In other sectors, state-run TV has also been targeted by protesters who have listed products advertised on its channels and urged supporters to join a boycott. Companies are running scared, and viewers have noticed the number of commercials plummet.

“We don’t have many choices to show and continue our protests. They don’t let us go out, they have killed many, we are threatened to text people or distribute emails, they have summoned people who shout Allahu Akbar [‘God is great’] on rooftops at nights, so we need to look for new ways,” said Shahla, a 26-year-old Iranian student.

“I can obviously see on the TV that they are facing an [advertising] crisis. This at least shows them how angry people are,” she added.

The SMS boycott, meanwhile, has apparently forced TCI into drastic price hikes. The cost of an SMS has doubled in recent days. Protesters view the move as a victory.

via Iranian consumers boycott Nokia for ‘collaboration’ | The Guardian.

Nokia maintains its leadership in bringing the Internet to emerging markets

May 18, 2009

Espoo, Finland – Nokia brings the Internet in emerging markets closer to reality with the announcement of three new mobile phones that open the door to information, entertainment, family and friends. The Nokia 2730 classic, Nokia 2720 fold and Nokia 7020 each come Internet-ready, and work with Nokia’s range of emerging market services such as Nokia Life Tools and Ovi Mail, creating solutions that help people get ahead.

“The power of the internet is undeniable,” says Alex Lambeek, Vice President at Nokia. “We’ve seen mobile technologies catalyze the growth of the informal sector across the world, empowering local entrepreneurs and having an immediate and lasting impact on people’s lives. Services like Nokia Life Tools and Ovi Mail, combined with the mobile phones we’re launching today, bring powerful solutions that can be the gateway to knowledge, entertainment and people, without the need for a PC.”

According to extensive Nokia consumer research, nearly half of emerging market customers state that they would rather connect to the Internet over a mobile phone than a PC. As a result, Nokia has developed locally relevant solutions that consist of affordable mobile phones and applications, designed and built from the ground up to meet the specific needs of customers in the developing world. Lambeek continues, “Whilst many people are still primarily using voice and text, the Internet does offer a whole new range of opportunities.”

Nokia Life Tools is a service that enables people to make better informed decisions, find timely and relevant information, access learning opportunities and enjoy entertainment regardless of time or place. In a pilot study in India, results showed that the services had high appeal for livelihood and life improvement services. Another service aimed at the developing world is Ovi Mail, which has the potential to be the first digital identity for many people in emerging markets. Unlike most other email services, an Ovi Mail account can be created and used directly on a Nokia device without ever having to use a PC. Since the launch of the beta service in December 2008, around 90 per cent of the accounts have been created on a Nokia phone.
Nokia 2730 classic

Competetively priced and equipped at EUR 80, the Nokia 2730 classic is Nokia’s most affordable 3G phone offering faster access to the internet and a richer browsing experience. With the steady spread of 3G data networks across the developing world, the Nokia 2730 classic is ideal for staying connected with friends and family, and sharing one’s life with others. The Nokia 2730 classic is expected to start shipping in the third quarter of 2009.


Nokia 2720 fold

The Nokia 2720 fold is a compact fold phone with an exciting mirror-effect design, which helps people stay organized with easy access to email, calendar, Internet connectivity and file sharing applications. Email can be activated by completing a simple three step set-up process, and in select markets will be offered with Nokia Life Tools. The Nokia 2720 fold is expected to begin shipping in the third quarter of 2009 for an estimated retail price of EUR 55 before subsidies and taxes.

Nokia 7020

A fashionable fold phone that uses light, color and metal finishes to convey personal style, you will never miss a thing with the stardust effect when you get a call or message, or tap twice to have the cover light up. Connect to social networks, and share pictures taken with the 2 mega pixel camera and shown on the bright display. The Nokia 7020 is expected to beging shipping in the fourth quarter of 2009 for an estimated retail price of EUR 90 before subsidies and taxes.
Lambeek concludes, “With our longstanding commitment to emerging markets, a Nokia customer can be confident that any product we offer meets a strict and consistent set of high-quality standards.  This is particularly important in markets where technical assistance and repair shops are not easily accessible.”

via Nokia – ShowPressRelease.

More on the Integration of Radio and Mobile Telephony

In the post “Integrating Radio and Mobile Telephony” I commended on Nokia’s recently released device 5030 mobile. Here I am reproducing an atricle and video on the topic, produced by Mr. Jonathan Marks and broadcast via Jonathan Marks’ videos on Vimeo.

Nokia on the Importance of Radio

Mark Selby has been giving a talk at several conferences about the importance of radio to the mobile industry. Given his background (including World Radio Geneva) it is perhaps not surprising that he’s interested in forging partnerships between Nokia and broadcasters. By the end of 2008, Nokia says they had sold 425 million devices with digital music players. In addition to that, thay say they have sold 700 million devices with built in (FM) radio capability. Phones like the N85 even have a built in FM transmitter so you can play the music in the car on the existing car radio (its super low power, but handy to have).Part of my current projects involve working with community stations in West Africa to build sustainable business models that bridge both the radio and mobile industries. They have a lot in common, but currently the gulf in terminology is keeping great ideas from happening.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Integrating Radio and Mobile Telephony

In the last week Nokia released the model 5030.  It is a model developed by the Nokia team based in Beijing and targeted explicitly at the mobile phone maket in the developing world. The device combines the well-established information and communication technology of radio with mobile telephony, a technology only recently available for wide use by people in developing countries.  The Nokia 5030 should begin shipping in the second quarter of 2009 with an estimated price of €40 before taxes and subsidies.

The Nokia 5030 is branded as bringing “radio to the people”.  The model exemplifies convergence by combining the functionalities of a mobile phone with those of a portable radio receiver.  It features an internal FM radio antenna and a powerful loudspeaker.

This mobile phone model can be used either as a radio with 24 hours of listening time between charges, or as a phone with 10 hours talk time.  It is available in graphite or red, and needs to be laid on its side in radio mode. The device also packs a flashlight, and speaking clock and an alarm.  More importantly it supports 75 languages, 500 person phone book (and space for up to 250 SMS messages) and the ability to phone share and track pre-pay usage.

The inclusion of an FM Radio or some other audio entertainment platform on a mobile devices certainly isn’t a new idea.  It has been available as an option on many devices for some time now, and these devices are been becoming incrasingly affordable to users in developing countries.  So what (if any) is the significance of the release of the Nokia 5030?

I think that the Nokia 5030 is a device showing signs of technology producers taking into account the user requirements of people in developing countries.  Still, manufacturers such as Nokia need to show much greater underastanding of the limitations to communication in the environment where these people (especially rural dwellers) live.  Although it is a start the Nokia 5030 is a long way away form constituting a comprehensive information and communication device for the developing word.  To say the least, such a device would enable people not only to receive wireless communication but also to transmit it.  In areas with scarce mobile phone cover transmission is the remaining sticking point.  If Nokia see the solution to communication in less developed countries through the integration of mobile and radio I am wondering if there might be a comprehensive solution they can offer.  For a demonstraton of the problem, we need to look no further than the clear dichotomy between the use of mobile telephony and the use of VHF for the delivery of medical services in rural areas.  That dichotomy can be readily traced in many of the “mobile health for development” initiatives.