Nokia to Add Messages from Oz

(01 Oct 2008, BWCS Staff)

Finnish handset maker Nokia is to purchase mobile e-mail and IM platform provider Oz Communications. Privately held Oz is based in Canada and has some 220 employees, more significantly the company boasts some 5.5 million customers each paying a monthly subscription to use its services. Oz recently announced an agreement with T-Mobile to deploy its platform in Germany and the UK.

The phone maker said that Oz's expertise and technology will complement Nokia's existing portfolio of messaging products and will help provide a complete range of mobile messaging products for its Series 40 and S60 devices. The acquisition is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter 2008. Assuming all goes to plan, Oz will become part of Nokia's Services & Software operative unit. No financial details of the takeover were released.

Last month Nokia announced the launch of its new "Comes with Music" service. The new phone system, available on the N5310 model, will initially be on sale only in the UK market. The handsets will be sold at Carphone Warehouse outlets and will give users a year of unlimited access to the Nokia Music Store catalogue. The phone-maker announced that customers will be allowed to keep the downloaded tracks even after the first year's subscription runs out.

The Finnish company is hoping to steal the limelight back from Apple with this new service launch. While Nokia has not revealed how many N5310 models it has sold over the past year, it believes that the music service will greatly boost sales. The company did say that in the first quarter of 2008 it had shipped over four million units of its 5310 and 5610 models combined.


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