Apple may be all mouth but Nokia has extremely large trousers.
Nokia World 2008 in Barcelona today saw the launch of the first N-series touch-phone, the N97, but also a new Nokia Messaging service (with push email), improved Nokia Maps and even a standalone Nokia internet radio called Nokia Home Music.
This mobile and web service is a comprehensive effort to reach out to the 75 per cent (yes, really) of the world that doesn't have an email address.
Nokia Messaging consists of three main innovations. A mobile app, due to launch in the UK and a few other Euro countries early in 2009, gives access to email and IM accounts from Yahoo!, Windows Live Hotmail, Gmail, Google Talk, AOL Mail plus thousands of ISPs around the world on "the majority of Nokia devices".
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Mail on Ovi is a email service offering 1GB of storage and spam filters that will be available on Nokia Series 40 devices worldwide from December, with web access following in February.
If you can't wait, owners of S60 handsets like the E71 and N95 can wander over to https://email.nokia.com/ today for a free, limited-period trial of a Nokia Messaging push email service. After one download, just enter your email address and password to start getting emails pushed to your phone.
The improved Nokia Maps service has high-resolution aerial images, 3D landmarks for 216 cities and terrain maps, as well as a new route overview during routing and Drive, the optional turn-by-turn car navigation guidance.
You can also now pre-plan your mobile routes on your PC using Nokia Maps plus Ovi to plot and synchronise journeys in advance, as well as sharing routes afterwards. You'll find Nokia Maps at www.nokia.com/betalabs and the online version at http://maps.ovi.com.
Nokia Home Music
Finally, Nokia Home Music is a standalone music system that has b/g Wi-Fi (or an Ethernet port) for accessing web radio stations, UPnP for streaming music from your phone and even an old-school FM tuner.
The white radio has standard 3.5mm line in and headphone sockets, a 10W mono speaker and remote control. No price on this yet.