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Nokia goes on offensive with new offerings

CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo delivers keynote address at Nokia World 2009 in Stuttgart, Germany; new phones revealed

Nokia goes on offensive with new offerings
Three new mobile handsets have been launched at Nokia World 2009 in Stuttgart, Germany.

Stuttgart: Nokia has hit back at critics saying the company is no longer competitive by launching new products and services, adding that there are 1.1 billion Nokia users in the world today.

At the Nokia World 2009 keynote address, CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo stated that the company has been shifting focus from being purely technology-oriented in the past to being more consumer-centric today, and that services are indeed critical to the company's future.

Nokia has registered over one million Ovi accounts in the last six months with 55 million service users globally. It hopes to rack up 300 million service users within the next three years.

"I've told my employees that there's no turning back and we will not fail," Kallasvuo told delegates at the event. "Piece by piece we are building a new Nokia."

Along with the new Linux Maemo N900, Nokia 5230 and 5800 navigation edition, and the 3G Booklet that was revealed a few days earlier, Nokia has just announced three new phones including an N97 Mini that shrinks the original N97 to a more compact size with a 3.2" touch display.

One of the key features of the N97 Mini, which will start shipping in October for approximately 450 Euros, is the new Lifecasting with Ovi service that allows users to instantly update their Facebook profile with information using the Maps application. In addition, users can access premium content from Lonely Planet and Wcities, which Nokia believes makes it the "world's smallest travel companion."

N97 Mini features new software that builds on the original N97 experience to include fresh homescreen widgets and better usability. But owners of the N97 won't be left behind either with the software being made available as an upgrade in October through Nokia Beta Labs.

Nokia is also pushing Comes With Music with two new devices that follow in the 5800 tradition - the touchscreen Nokia X6, capable of playing up to 35 hours of music and with 32 GB onboard (450 Euros, $640), and ‘little brother' X3 that is the first Series 40 Ovi Store-enabled device from Nokia and comes with stereo speakers, built-in radio and a standard 3.2 megapixel camera (115 Euros, $164). Both devices will ship during the fourth quarter of 2009.

Pricing for the Windows 7-based 3G Booklet has been set at 575 Euros ($818), while the highly-publicised Maemo N900 will cost 500 Euros ($712). Unfortunately, no pricing or availability details for the Middle East region have been confirmed yet.

In a separate keynote, Anssi Vanjoki, executive vice president of Markets, added that with the new offerings, "Nokia is not on the defensive; it is on the offensive."

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