Nokia kicked off its annual Nokia World conference today in Stutgardt, Germany, with a focus on services.
Stressing Nokia’s tradition of openness, Nokia CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo rendered a picture of an OEM that is desperately trying to revamp its image from maker of boring bar phones to provider of hip end-to-end mobile media, services and high-end devices.
“Our ambition is nothing less than to create the biggest delivery platform for services for the mobile,” Kallasvuo said.
Kallasvuo went on to outline a range of Nokia media services, from the Ovi Store to Nokia’s native Comes with Music service, which is currently offered on 12 Nokia devices in countries that do not include the United States. Overall, the presentation leaned heavily on expanding music, social networking and financial services.
Acknowledging that Nokia is guilty of announcing products only to leave consumers waiting for an actual release for long periods of time, Kallasvuo said that every consumer service that will be announced at this year’s Nokia World will be available either immediately or within 48 hours of the announcement.
While services were a big part of today’s event, the keynote wouldn’t have been complete without at least a couple of new devices. Anssi Vanjoki, executive vice president of Nokia Markets, introduced the N97 mini as well as a pair of new music-oriented handsets, the Nokia X6 and the Nokia X3.
The X6 and X3 both come equipped with Nokia Comes with Music. The X6 has an estimated retail price of €450, with the Nokia X3 retailing for an estimated €115. Prices are before taxes and subsidies, and both devices will ship during the fourth quarter of 2009.
To be sure, this year’s Nokia World, for better or worse, marks the beginning of a new Nokia. “It should be clear by now that Nokia did not embrace the services business because we thought it would be an interesting side business. We consider it critical to our future,” Kallasvuo said, adding that Nokia is building itself anew, piece by piece.