Nokia Prepares 'iPhone Killer,' Changes CTO

The Symbian S60-powered smartphone dubbed "Tube" is expected to include Nokia's music player, DVB-H mobile TV support, and various GPS applications.

W. David Gardner, Contributor

September 30, 2008

3 Min Read

Nokia is expected to unveil a touch-screen smartphone dubbed "Tube" later this week that some are calling an "iPhone killer."

Nokia started the week off by downgrading its business operation and elevating its consumer operation. It's now reportedly poised to end the week by demonstrating that it's serious about a heightened emphasis on consumers.

The European media has been rife with rumors and reports that the smart phone will be unveiled Thursday. The touch-screen handset uses Symbian S60 OS and is said to have advanced consumer-oriented features like Nokia's "Comes with music," DVB-H mobile TV support, and various GPS applications. Like most new generation smart phones, the Tube, also called the Nokia 5800, will have Wi-Fi.

In the past, Nokia has said it plans to position a touch screen handset in the midtier of smartphone lines. According to some media reports, the new Tube will be introduced in Europe before it is offered in the United States.

With Symbian S60, the latest shipped version of Symbian OS, Nokia's Tube will be optimized the OS for convergence with current multimedia applications as well as making enhancements to its security.

Despite the cheers Nokia fans are expected to give the Tube, one negative impact on the Finnish firm will be the immediate departure of its highly regarded CTO Bob Iannucci. Iannucci, who has been based in Nokia's Silicon Valley research facilities, has been focused on business enterprise research issues. The company said Henry Tirri will be interim CTO while it reviews the future need for a CTO.

Nokia also announced that it plans "to cease developing or marketing its own behind-the-firewall business mobility solutions" and that the firm is negotiating to sell its security appliances business to an unnamed financial investor.

"If this transaction is concluded, it would be an extremely positive development for the security appliance business," said Niklas Savander, Nokia's executive VP of services and software, in a statement, adding that final news about the a deal will be announced when a definitive agreement is reached. "The investor is committed to continuing the development and growth of the business."

While the company indicated it will deemphasize its direct involvement in business applications, it said it will renew its business mobility commitment by developing its relationships with enterprise technology vendors like Microsoft, IBM, and Cisco to promote Nokia's consumer push e-mail service.

"We will use our expertise in devices, as well as the combined channel footprint and customer base, to deliver a range of unbeatable end-to-end offerings for business," said Savander, who pointed to the Nokia-Microsoft partnership that has brought the Nokia E71 and Microsoft's Exchange ActiveSync to businesses. Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync is offered on more than 40 Nokia S60 mobile phones.

Cisco's Brett Galloway, senior VP of the firm's Wireless and Security Technology Group, noted that the firms have been working together to link Nokia's smartphones with Cisco's growing range of unified communications and wireless networking offerings.

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