Nokia Smart Phone Counters iPod with Streaming Video

Just over a week after Apple launched its much anticipated photo iPod — without video capability — Nokia has announced a smart phone that streams and records video.

“Smart phones are now at the heart of the industry,” said Anssi Vanjoki, executive vice president and general manager of Nokia’s multimedia division. “Mobility is a powerful force. Not only are smart phones reaching the mainstream, they are drawing on cross-industry technologies to spur further innovation.”

The Nokia 7710 widescreen smart phone, the Nokia 3230 megapixel smart phone and the business-oriented Nokia 6020 camera phone are part of the mobile communications company’s push toward multimedia.

Specifically, the Nokia 7710 will feature higher screen resolutions, handwriting recognition, pen input, Internet browsing, music player, stereo audio, FM radio, megapixel camera with 2x zoom, and yes, a set of streaming video features.

Monday’s Nokia Mobility Conference featured several breakthrough technologies and products to illustrate the ongoing development of the mobility industry.

These included Visual Radio, mobile TV, the Lifeblog multimedia diary, and the “Connect to Art” initiative, which brings art to mobile phones and mobile phones to art distribution.

Is Apple Missing the Big Picture?

Are Apple execs making a faux pau by deciding that it is too complicated to deal with copyright issues associated with streaming video? Steve Jobs has also publicly stated that the iPod would not include video features because its small screen makes watching movies impractical.

Or is Nokia setting itself up for headaches?

IDC Mobile Devices program analyst David Linsalata told the E-Commerce Times that it’s just too soon to tell.

“What you are seeing is a convergence of a number of different factors that make mobile video a possibility,” Linsalata said.

“I wouldn’t say that the demand for video on mobile devices is proven yet, but I would say that the pieces are falling into place so manufacturers can put out compelling devices and solutions, like video, and allow consumers to decide whether or not they find it to be a valuable proposition.”

Those “convergence factors” Linsalata spoke of include faster 2.5 and 3G networks, along with manufacturers’ capability to produce higher resolution screens, better processing capabilities and greater amounts of storage space.

This new breed of smart phones could even take market share away from other wireless hand-held devices, like Verizon’s XDA3 Pocket PC Phone, according to analysts.

The Nokia 7710 is scheduled for release in Europe and Asia in the firstquarter of 2005.

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