Monday, May 16, 2011

Nokia Terminates Ovi

Nokia (NYSE:NOK) will discontinue its Ovi mobile services umbrella this summer, continuing its existing initiatives and rolling out new efforts under the Nokia brand.

The transition, slated to begin in July, is expected to continue throughout late 2012 and spans across all Ovi solutions and international markets--no disruption of the device maker's service roadmaps is expected, and Nokia adds that consumers who purchase a new Nokia smartphone or feature phone in the coming months will see the new branding in place on most preloaded services.

"By centralizing our services identity under one brand, not two, we will reinforce the powerful master brand of Nokia and unify our brand architecture," said Nokia's CMO Jerri DeVard on the Nokia Conversations blog. "Our mobile experiences are tightly integrated with our devices--there is no longer a differentiation."Nokia introduced Ovi in August 2007. Ovi--"door" in Nokia's native Finnish--heralded the company's expansion beyond mobile devices and platforms into a range of web and data services.

Last month, the company said its Ovi Store mobile content marketplace now tops 5 million downloads each day, adding the storefront has grown by nearly eight times over during the last year to over 40,000 apps.Earlier this year, Nokia announced it will embrace Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)'s Windows Phone 7 mobile operating system as its primary smartphone platform. Per terms of the agreement, Nokia and Microsoft will forge a worldwide mobile ecosystem integrating their respective assets--for example, Microsoft's Bing engine will power search across Nokia devices and services, and Microsoft assets like Bing and AdCenter will incorporate the Nokia Maps solution.

Last month, Nokia stated it will transfer its Symbian software activities as well as about 3,000 employees to global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing firm Accenture as part of its ongoing global workforce and site operations consolidations alignment. Per terms of the agreement, Accenture will provide Symbian-based software development and support services for present and future Nokia smartphones, also supplying Windows Phone-based mobility software, business and operational services to Nokia and other ecosystem participants. Nokia expects to sell roughly 150 million additional Symbian units in the years ahead despite the transition to Windows Phone 7.

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