The Series 60 platform - Nokia's specific flavour of the Symbian operating system - will use sheer volume to take over the mobile world, said the company at its Mobility Conference. However, volumes come from consumer products and the products definitely seem to be putting pleasure before business, with more cameras and video features than work-orientated functions.
The 7710, a wide-format touch-screen multimedia device, is like a PDA and introduces a stylus, but the features that were emphasised were the FM radio, MP3 player and video streaming. The other new Series 60 products, the 3230 and 6020, also major on camera features, and the company promised to have twenty megapixel camera-phones in 2005.
Nokia says that Series 60 is the most popular Symbian smartphone platform going - and the flagship for its current and future business phones. "Series 60 has the best ability in smartphones for e-mail and PIM," said Antti Vasara, Nokia's vice president of technology marketing and sales. According to Canalys, it has a 50 percent share in the smartphone market, he added, with 15 million of the 18 Series 60 devices shipped, by the end of October 2004.
By comparison, the Series 80-based Communicator got a swift mention: "The Nokia Communicator 9500 has started shipping," said Vasara. "The follow up 9300 is coming up later. We are confidently building partners and applications around the platform." Running on a slower (business-like) product cycle than Series 60 smartphones, the 9500 was announced in February, and the smaller, lighter 9300 was announced in September.
Putting the Series 60 in every category will make it unstoppable said Vasara: "Series 60 is truly going into the categories that matter: the mid-range mass market, and high end converged devices. We will be the only ones who can provide one unique software platform which is unique to cover all these different formats." He added: "We have the widest coverage of screen resolutions and radio protocols; Series 60 is ready for customisation, and we have the largest mobile developer community."
Nokia's big "hero" this Christmas, pushing Series 60 to users, will be the commercially-available 6630 3G smartphone, said Vasara. "The trucks have left the factory already," he said. Products like this will mean that by 2008, 25 percent of all mobile devices sold will be some sort of "smartphone", he said. "He predicted that the features would fully converge at the high end in the next 18 months, with many Series 60 software launches in the pipeline, possibly a reference to Nokia's failure, so far, to replace the 6310i with a business-class product with Bluetooth and no camera.
Nokia phones with hard disks in them would be available in 2005 or 2006, said Vasara. He linked the idea to a "video to go" feature, in which the user will load up movies to watch, either to a hard disk or a big SD card. In questions, Vasara admitted that three hours' video watching would probably run the battery down, a serious drawback to the feature.