Unless you ‘ve been hiding in a cave, you will have read about Nokia Ovi, the Finnish giant’s portal for internet-borne services delivered on your mobile. What’s not been talked about widely is how Ovi relates to Nokia devices and S60.
Launched in 2002, S60 has been Nokia’s software platform which delivers an application framework, key middleware, core applications and user interface on top of the Symbian OS platform. For the last few years, the vast majority (circa 65%) of Symbian devices have shipped with S60 on top, and in the form of Nokia’s own devices. But I ‘m digressing.
S60 has been Nokia’s strategy to extend its market share in the value chain beyond its own 40%. The manufacturer has long realised that extending far beyond 40% of the mobile device market is pretty hard. As such Nokia developed S60, an in-house software platform that can be licensed to other manufacturers. In creating this strategy, Nokia envisaged that many OEMs would take up S60 which would translate to a meaningful addition to its revenue base. It’s worth noting that contrary to the S40 software platform, S60 incurs far greater costs in maintaining and upholding APIs, catering to developer needs and handset OEM differentiation requirements.
S60 has therefore been Nokia’s strategy to extend well beyond it’s own device market share and reap licensing revenues from competing OEMs. As history has taught, very few models and volumes of non-Nokia devices based on S60 have shipped to date, compared to the 100M+ Nokia S60 devices.
Visualising Nokia’s Ovi strategy Interestingly, Ovi is an extension of S60, for the connected device age. Ovi is about channeling services (e.g. music and video sharing, widgets, location services, and storage-in-the-cloud services) onto mobile devices. In this sense, Ovi is an extension of S60, but with lower costs. To deliver an Ovi service, you need an enabling client application, not a complete software platform.
What more, Ovi is about extending service delivery to connected devices beyond mobile; PCs, set-top boxes, home entertainment and other appliances. And it’s about bringing those services to the consumer irrespective of the device (mobile or fixed) or the medium (over the cable or over the air). If we were to represent mobile devices as one dimension and the spectrum of connected devices as another dimension, a very revealing relationship between Ovi and S60 forms, which lends well to visualising Nokia’s Ovi strategy.
Ovi = S60 squared.