Nokia has launched three new handsets which it describes as "multimedia computers" and not mobile phones.
The new devices include the N71, a clamshell handset with USB connection to allow easy file transfer and synchronization; the N80, a quad-network phone with 802.11g for VoIP calls; and the N92, which is designed for mobile television viewing.
"The 7650 was our first production multimedia computer," said Anssi Vanjoki, Nokia's general manager for multimedia, at the firm's Mobility Conference 2005 in Barcelona.
"We did not realise at that time that five years on this would be the fastest growing of any consumer electronics sector. The next big round [of products] is going to be based on multimedia computers."
The N71 is designed with music in mind. It has a five-band graphic equaliser, an adaptor to allow the use of regular headphones, 2GB of storage via a miniSD card and a USB 2.0 connection to allow music downloads from a PC. It also has a customisable keypad to which users can assign their favourite functions.
The N80 is a fully featured 'world phone' capable of using any cellular network as well as Wi-Fi. It comes with a 3-megapixel camera and flash, and is the first Nokia handset with Universal Plug and Play.
UPnP is a system whereby compatible consumer electronics devices can link in a wireless network and exchange files. Nokia is working closely with the Digital Home initiative set up by Intel and Microsoft.
"By mid-2006 we will see the first networks," said Vanjoki. "This is speculative as it depends on the technological maturity of the market."
The final handset is the N92, Nokia's first phone designed specifically for mobile TV viewing. It has a twistable 2.8in screen and buttons for changing channels. Viewers can also have 30 seconds of playback from stored memory, and the phone supports the DVB-H mobile TV standard and can run on Wi-Fi or any cellular network.
"Mobile could be the best medium for free TV content supported by advertising," said Jeff Henry, chief executive of ITV's consumer division.
"The future for mobile TV is already being created today. The fact that we are so aggressively pursing it proves this."
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