The Future of Mobile Devices: Services?

Sharvanboskirk [Posted by Shar VanBoskirk]

This morning finds me still one of the five women at Nokia World (ok, slight exaggeration) and certainly one of the few non-gadget geeks here.  But based on what I now know about Nokia (one day into the event, and frankly much smarter about context for many of the product announcements made yesterday), I actually think they are quite interested in connecting with the non-gadget types going forward.  In fact, many of the mainstage presentations yesterday as well as the small group breakouts conducted just for Forrester talk about Nokia's goal to be both a product and services company.  In this case, services means providing wireless services -- music, games, messaging, and media sharing -- to consumers via their Nokia handsets.  Nokia calls its "suite" of services (mentioned above) "Ovi."  Ovi is sort of a platform, sort of a set of products. 

Here is how it works: A consumer buys an Ovi-enabled Nokia handset, and they have immediate and embedded access to navigation systems, music downloads, connectivity to their email and IM inboxes, and the ability to share/curate images, videos, etc with others.  This happens without a carrier's involvement -- these services are hardwired into the phone.  And the business model is usually without a subscription -- consumers pay a premium for the handset which is Ovi-enabled.

I'm not going to pretend to be the mobile device expert, here. There are other analysts at Forrester who know alot more about Ovi than I.  But I wanted to introduce it to talk about the marketing implications of handset manufacturer as service provider. 

I think this blend of services bundled with device could actually change consumer behavior in a way that makes the mobile handset a consumer life utility and not just a tool for making calls, sending texts and checking email.  This would be a crucial turning point for mobile marketing .  It would 1) Increase adoption and tolerance for multiple functions/content on a mobile; 2) It would increase consumer facility with using their phone for transactions; 3) It would foster consumers using their mobile to continue experiences they initiate via Web or email.  All steps that would aid the development of smarter mobile marketing programs.

Do you agree?

   

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