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April 17, 2009

Nokia messaging for the masses

GLOBAL – Yesterday Nokia and Orange announced an addition to their strategic partnership which will see Nokia Messaging appear on a range of Orange signature devices across Europe. Starting with the UK this summer, the service will enable Orange customers to activate email directly on their device, and access and use up to 10 email accounts through the service.

This is pretty cool and should, I suspect, see quite a broad take-up of Nokia Messaging, and more people using push email on the move. Last year, at the launch of the E71, some figures were highlighted on the number of people using push email from the total mobile population. Nokia’s message then was simply that mobile email, despite being the single most popular Internet service, had barely scratched the surface amongst mobile users.

I’ve written plenty of times before about how the Internet on your mobile isn’t like the Internet on your PC, and how apps and services are the things that’ll get people tuned in. This latest move is just the next step in both mobilising people’s email, but also increasing adoption of the Internet on mobile devices. Making push email easily available and accessible is key, I reckon, to driving that adoption.

My wife spends a lot of time with (and on) her phone. She’s a texter, mostly, though email and Facebook are two of the other ways she keeps in touch. Currently the latter two are only accessed once or twice a day. By contrast, I live on email, either on my phone, laptop or desktop – typically I’m never longer than 20-30 minutes away from reading and responding to an email. It’s a central part of my communication (more than making calls is). For Mrs BC though, who is also a full time housewife and therefor not at a desk all day, it simply can’t be. As one of the majority who doesn’t have access to email on her phone, she spends much of her time cut off from her friends online.

Perhaps though, that’s all about to change.