Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Nokia ready to take on BlackBerry and iPhone.

Nokia, the world’s largest handset maker, will launch an e-mail platform for its mid- and high-end handsets on Wednesday as it attempts to challenge the dominance of RIM’s BlackBerry and Apple’s iPhone, both known for their better e-mail services.

While Nokia is the market leader in handset sales in India by a long shot, the company so far did not have an answer to BlackBerry’s e-mail services widely used by corporates and other high-end users.

Nokia will first debut its new messaging and e-mail solution on its business-oriented E-series phone E75 in India, before extending it to other E-series and N-series handsets here. At present, all of Nokia’s high-end phones fall into two camps, the E series for enterprise and corporate use and the N series for entertainment such as video, photographs and music.

Currently, Nokia does not have an e-mail platform to allow its users to view e-mails from different accounts through a common client. Nokia users currently view their e-mail using its mail for exchange service, but the catch is that it supports only a single e-mail account at a time. It had also launched Nokia Messaging push e-mail service for its high-end handsets such as E71 and N95.

In a bid to address the needs of corporates, Nokia was earlier offering BlackBerry Connect platform on several of its earlier E-series handsets. But, the latest phones from Nokia, such as the E75, don’t offer BlackBerry Connect. On the other hand, BlackBerry’s strength is that it allows customers to read and reply to multiple e-mail accounts with a single client. Put simply, BlackBerry users need not log-in multiple times into each of their corporate and personal accounts separately.

Instead, they can access all their e-mail accounts with a single click. Now for the first time, Nokia consumers will be able to aggregate all e-mail accounts through one client supporting up to 16 email accounts such as Gmail, Yahoo, MSN and a host of other e-mail providers. Besides, the new e-mail user interface supports a host of other consumer-friendly features such as one-click reply, expanding views, folder support and HTML support.

“This (email for corporates on the handsets) is one area where we are not present. We did not have a solution for these users, but we are all set to launch it. You will soon see us market this product aggressively as we feel that we can be a strong player in this space,” Nokia India’s director for marketing Vineet Taneja said replying to a query from ET during an event in Chennai last week.

The E75, which Nokia will launch on Wednesday, is a candy bar phone with a horizontal sliding Qwerty keyboard. It comes with a 3.2 megapixel camera and a 2.4-inch screen. Apart from push e-mail, it has Quickoffice for viewing and editing documents, a PDF viewer, Zip file management, and Nokia’s mapping system which uses an internal A-GPS receiver. - Economic Times.

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