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October 1, 2008

Mobile email – once for business, now for pleasure

GLOBAL – What a week. Whilst the world battles financial turmoil, Nokia shifts from the left foot to the right foot, saying adios, at least in part, to business and embracing consumers. Whilst there’s lots of change for some at Nokia (and as Charlie pointed out, not all of it positive) it does mean some pretty exciting innovations and changes for consumers too.

Oz has long been the leader when it comes to mobile messaging. Just flicking around its site I instantly got excited at the prospect of some of its products rolling onto my device. Although I’ve not actually used any, it does seem pretty clear why its the leader in its field. So what does this mean for Nokia customers? Well, according to the press release:

“With OZ, Nokia is renewing its mission of Connecting People by enabling consumers to easily connect and communicate using their favorite Internet communities,” said Niklas Savander, Head of Nokia Services & Software. “OZ’s team and technology will help Nokia to address the fast growing consumer messaging market.”

The release goes on to say that

“by acquiring Oz, Nokia will enable easy-to-use, fast access to leading instant messaging and email services, unlcuding AOL, Gmail, ICQ, Windows Live Messenger and Yahoo!.”

So it looks like that which was previously only on offer to a select few (5.5 million people is a select few when counted out of 3 billion) will soon be on offer to a lot more. And that’s pretty exciting to me.
Should we have seen this coming? Maybe. Back at the launch of the E71 in June there was talk of how big the consumer mobile email market was, versus the business market. This week’s moves seem to be following up on that strategy. Time will tell if it’s a wise one.