At the time of writing this I am 35,000 ft in the air, flying over Asia and headed to London for the biggest Nokia event of the year, Nokia World. To say that, I am excited is putting it very mildly. There has been so much happening around Nokia in the past few months. They’ve just got a new CEO, there have been last minute reshuffles in the keynotes and there is a general air of ‘ I wonder what will happen’. Update: Anssi Vanjoki has just resigned!
Meanwhile there have been quite a few positive developments for Nokia. The Symbian ^3 OS should have matured by now thanks to the testing the N8 must have underwent, MeeGo already looks great of paper with its UI ready to wow. The services (Email and Maps) have improved considerably since the time they were launched and the Ovi Store v2 is waiting in the wings. With this in mind lets get to the hopes section of this post.
- More than anything I want to see a powerful, aggressive and bold keynote. Take the competition head on, show off what you have in style and wow the pants of the world. People might say that doing is more important and words will only get you so far and that Nokia’s been all about words recently, but I differ. Words are powerful and really help Nokia in the mindshare department.
- What I really wanted to see was a MeeGo tablet, perhaps even more than the MeeGo phone. Why? Because now is the time to capture the market. Apple has opened this segment up, cash in. Not when there are 100 Android tablets already present to give you competition. Sadly, I don’t think this is happening, there was even a statement to the effect if I recall correctly. What next, a rehash of the Booklet 3G, a more powerful variant? I don’t think so. Making a Windows 7 machine when you already have MeeGo brewing makes little sense.
Okay, time to move onto predictions.
- Lets start with the givens. The E7, which is the E90’s successor in spirit. 4″ touch display, N97 like slide up design, full QWERTY. Symbian ^3, possibly with a 8MP camera (with an LED flash) and HD video capabilities.
- Next up the C7. A cheaper N8 in spirit, without HDMI and a 12 MP camera. Might bring 8MP, Symbian ^3 and HD capture to the masses.
- The N9. The phone everyone wants to see but one which Nokia might not announce till later this year. They said there will be a MeeGo phone in 2010 and there will be; the question is when? This Nokia World might be all be about Symbian ^3 and letting the N9 loose now might just hurt the other announcements. I don’t know if the management change will affect such decisions.
- We will also see a few (two?) lower end devices launched in a press release. Nothing ground breaking, but at very attractive price points.
- I also get the feeling that Nokia has been able to keep at least one announcement (device) completely under the wraps. That announcement is the one I will be specially looking out for!
- Services. We will see a lot of re-branding, everything will come into the Ovi branding with some degree of consolidation. The Ovi Store refresh is a strong possibility, so is a new version of the Nokia Messaging which might become Ovi Messaging. With Ovi Music, an announcement to the effect that individual purchases are DRM-free will probably be made, we have already seen it happen a quite a few countries now – India, China, UK and so on. I also hope to see the pinch to zoom Ovi Maps demo on the N8.
- A Nokia N8 for every Nokia World attendee? Heh! Nokia is not the sort of company which does that, but with the developer summit happening in connection with Nokia World, I think that becomes a possibility. Such a thing is not a huge expense for Nokia, but generates a ton of buzz for the company and for the product (N8), both which I’m sure they’d want. The 700 Euro entry fee for Nokia World might also help sway their minds.
I will be at #NokiaWorld covering the event live! So bookmark thehandheldblog.com/nokia-world for the latest.
What do you thing will happen?