Internet connected phones will outsell laptop computers within two years, according to Nokia's chief executive Jorma Ollila.
Ollila said a new breed of mobile phones - dubbed 'media phones' by Nokia - will have a considerable impact on the reach of mobile phones and of the Internet.
"We've decided to continue into mobile Internet - new products capable of browsing the Internet will emerge," said Ollila during a speech today at the FT World Telecommunications Conference. "I believe this will be the next big thing in technology," he said.
Nokia has had its Communicator smartphone product available since 1996. The Communicator is a handheld computing device for word processing, email, some Internet based information services, as well as a digital mobile phone.
Ollila said the new media phones will allow connection to the Internet at a bit rate far higher than available today. This will allow email, Web browsing and eventually even moving pictures on a mobile phone, he said.
Sales of mobile phones overtook sales of PCs two years ago, and mobile penetration is over 50 per cent in some countries, according to Ollila. Now Ollila said he expects Internet connected mobiles to outsell laptops within two years.
Furthermore, in two years, 10-15 per cent of all the mobile phones sold worldwide will contain Internet technology, said Ollila.
Nokia is currently developing advanced mobile phones, and will be ready to roll them out as soon as new standards are formalised. Nokia is working with cellular companies across the world to create a third generation mobile standard that will facilitate the creation and operation of advanced mobile networks.
Nokia is also backing a number of cross industry initiatives "that will make media phones more appealing to end users", said Ollila.
These are the Wireless Application Protocol for bringing the Internet to mobile devices, Bluetooth - a venture creating a radio interface for wireless devices - and Symbian, a joint venture company with Ericsson, Motorola and Psion developing an operating system for mobile phones.
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