Nokia (NOK) is making a splash today with the launch of four new mobile phones, the Nokia music store, a Nokia N-Gage gaming site, and a web services portal called Ovi. The company announced these new efforts at Go Play, an even the company is hosting in London.
What is Ovi? It is Finnish for door and it also is Nokia’s new Internet services brand name. It will be the door to Nokia Music Store, Nokia Maps, and N-Gage games, and will also be the entry point for other Web and mobile services. It is going to go live in English during the fourth quarter of 2007 and in other languages in the first half of 2008.
The company also announced two new N-Series phones, the N81 (music phone) and the Nokia N95 (8 GB). The later with its large screen and higher storage capacity clearly is being launched as a way to ward off the Apple (AAPL) iPhone challenge. I got a chance to preview the N81 and I have to admit, it is pretty nice looking device. More budget conscious phone buyers might find Nokia 5310 and 5610 XpressMusic phones more attractive. In order to fill your music phones, you can buy tunes from Nokia Music Store, which for now works exclusively on Windows. (Review to follow shortly.)