Will Nokia Be Third Time Lucky With nGage?

[qi:83] Try, try and try again! That has been the mantra for Microsoft (MSFT), and now Finnish cellphone maker Nokia (NOK) is embracing it as well. The New York Times reports that the company is going to announce its third push into the fast-growing mobile games business. According to Ovum, a London-based research firm, the mobile games market will reach $4 billion this year and will more than double by 2010.

Nokia has been trying to overcome the problem of commoditization and fierce price competition in the mobile handset business by becoming a mobile services company. From mobile photos services to music to social networking, it is trying anything and everything. Mobile gaming is also part of that plan — never mind that it has failed twice before.

The progress made in mobile processors and graphics combined with a lack of any special hardware requirements means Nokia has a good chance of making an impact the third time around.

While the first two attempts were tied to nGage, a hardware device, this time Nokia is skipping the specialized device. Instead there are plans to make these phones work on a new line of Nokia’s high-end N-Series smart phones, which are rumored to be launching later this month. The nGage is now the name for this new mobile gaming service that will serve content from most major publishers, including Electronics Arts (ERTS) and Digital Chocolate.