Mobile phones have long since moved on from just being able to make a call.
Surfing the net, text and multimedia messaging, e-mail, calendar and gaming have all become key parts of handsets, making them a lot smarter.
Nokia has been outlining its strategy to drive this market into the next year, announcing this week it hopes to ship 100 million devices with colour displays, Java and MMS in 2004.
Its strategy centres around the idea that the mobile will be central to the convergence of key elements that we would like to do at home, work and on the move.
The company announced five innovative handsets this week, all aimed at a range of users and uses, whether it be for entertainment or business.
The announcement included its first ever media category handset, the 7700, based the Series 90 platform, which brings TV and radio to the mobile.
But Nokia has also been reaffirming its commitment to working with other manufacturers and developers to find a software architecture that will allow a “seamless service interoperability” for smartphones.
“The key is to drive the smartphones to such a level where they are middle range phones,” Nokia’s Vice President of Marketing Timo Poikolainen said.
“But no single company alone will be able to create software that will cover all these applications,” he said.
Nokia phones use the Symbian operating system but its smartphones, like the recently launched 6600, are based on a more open standard, the Series 60 platform.
Series 60 is a platform for development which, according to Mr Poikolainen, is a “powerful offering” and one which offers “enormous opportunities for innovation” for smartphones.
It is also a platform which Nokia defend vigorously against others, like Symbian UIQ which power smartphones like Sony Ericsson’s P800 and 900 models.
The Series 60 platform is built on Symbian OS, but introduces standards which opens up application development to a much wider community of developers.
This is vital because it is this powerful community of third party developers who are the ones creating the applications, the things that make smartphones useful.
Ultimately, that means the user gets what Nokia calls the “rich multimedia experience”.
Series 60 gives Java developers an enhanced user interface, 3D graphics, rich games capabilities, and more secure and additional client-server interaction capabilities.
All things which move towards what Nokia sees as the “core functionality” of their phones.
The recently launched 6600 and the N-Gage are two such devices which use Series 60.
Nokia predict that more than 10 million Series 60 devices will be in use globally by the end of 2003.
Currently, nine devices from five different handset makers, including Siemens, Samsung and the recently launched UK-based Sendo, use Series 60.