Mobile email for the masses

With the launch of the second wave of its E-series handsets for the business market at the 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona last month, Nokia has set its sights on pushing mass adoption of mobile email.

To fuel a new wave of business mobility and move beyond the corner office, the handset maker released a new version of its Intellisync software that makes mobile email easier and more affordable for enterprises to deploy by giving them a choice of a fully hosted or partially hosted service.

Mathia Nalappan, Nokia's VP of enterprise solutions for Asia Pacific, said the company's strategy is to remove the barriers for making business mobile.

'Our mission is to support the broadest range of devices over any network and to allow customers to connect through their preferred provider. To boost wireless email across all levels of an organization, it's vital to keep costs low for companies, so we've made it possible for users to run [Intellisync] on the devices they already have.'

Enterprise growth

The mobile enterprise market in Asia Pacific (ex-Japan) is forecast to expand over 11% annually from $20.7 billion last year to $35.5 billion by the end of 2011, according to a report last month from Frost & Sullivan. 'Much of the growth is likely to come from mobile email and other such mobile data services, which have been significant revenue contributors in the mobile enterprise segment,' notes Frost & Sullivan industry manager Janice Chong.

With just 10.2 million push-email clients worldwide, compared to 640 million corporate email accounts, Nokia sees a huge untapped market without aiming to convert existing users of other push email services. The company has about a 10% share of the push-email market.

In addition to the new release of Intellisync Mobile Suite 8.0, Nokia introduced three new handsets to its E-series: the E90, the latest version of the Communicator, the E61i, a streamlined version of the E61 with a metallic back cover and sturdier  navigation button, and the slim, two-tone E65, the first slider model in the series.

Nalappan says there won't be one device for the masses - 'we're developing many form factors to give users multiple choices.' He admitted that Nokia's handsets have been 'robust in the past,' with the focus on functionality over style. 'Style now has become a more important factor without sacrificing function.'

Nokia's entry-level corporate email service, which lets users read, compose and delete emails and manage local folders, is priced at $3,000 for an unlimited number of users, while its professional service, which includes features such as attachment handling and personal information synchronization, costs $129 per user. Intellisync is compatible with Symbian, Windows Mobile, Palm and some lower-end Java-based phones.

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