"Ovi is not a surprise, or at least not to us, and marks the latest step in Nokia's transition from a device to an internet services company," said Ovum analysts Eden Zoller and Martin Garner in a new report.
"But it is an extremely big step and could trip Nokia up if it fails to deliver."
The study noted that Nokia is positioning Ovi as a portal to what it promises will be a very full set of internet services.
Ovi will act as the front end and umbrella brand for a range of in-house and third-party web and content services.
The initial Nokia services include a revamped N-Gage gaming platform, mapping and navigation services, and a much anticipated online music store. Ovi will also provide access to the services of existing web partners such as Flickr.
"Ovi goes way beyond being an iTunes killer in Nokia's mind," the Ovum briefing noted.
"The portal concept is nothing new, but it does gain new currency in the context of converged fixed mobile internet services.
"This can be fragmented and difficult to navigate, and consumers will increasingly need a single place for easy-to-use, personalised access to a wide range of services.
"Players that can offer this kind of universal portal will be in a powerful position, and of course it helps if you can also offer a portfolio of optimised devices to support the whole experience."
According to Ovum, one of the biggest problems for Nokia is that it is entering a crowded market.
"One of the many challenges facing Nokia here is that it is not alone. Mobile operators like Orange want to do similar things and could be alienated by Nokia's strategy," the report stated.
An English version of the Ovi portal is scheduled to launch in the fourth quarter of 2007 in Europe, followed by other markets and languages in 2008.
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