RealTime IT News

Nokia Picks RealNetworks' Media Software

Nokia proved to be quite busy at the CeBIT conference in Hanover, Germany Tuesday. In addition to parading new phones, Java support and multimedia messaging, the world's No. 1 phone maker said it selected RealNetworks Inc.'s RealOne digital media player for its wireless gadgets.

The terms of the alliance call for Finland's Nokia to embed the mobile version of RealOne as a standard feature on all its mobile devices that use the Symbian operating system -- Nokia's choice over Palm Inc. for 2.5G and 3G mobile devices. RealOne Player will be a standard feature on the Nokia Series 60 Platform, which the firm licenses to fellow mobile device manufacturers. Moreover, Nokia Networks will resell RealNetworks' media delivery platform RealSystemMobile (unveiled at 3GSM World Congress in February) to other mobile operators.

Tuesday's alliance is the expansion of an alliance announced earlier that saw RealNetworks putting its audio and video wares on the Nokia 9210 communicator. More than that, the deal is a resounding win for RealNetworks over chief digital media software rival Microsoft Corp. .

Rob Glaser, chief executive officer and chairman of RealNetworks, called the deal a milestone in terms of digital media provisions for mobile services.

"By extending the reach of the RealOne Player into the market-leading Nokia mobile phones, we are enabling consumers to enjoy digital media wherever and whenever they want, and content owners to gain access to new distribution opportunities," Glaser said in a public statement.

The companies will put their heads together to help consumers transfer audio and video from the RealOne Player on their PC to their Nokia mobile devices, as well as jointly address digital rights management issues.

Nokia will offer RealSystem Mobile as part of a infrastructure solution to operators in the second quarter of 2002. The mobile version of the RealOne Player will be included with the 9210i Communicator, which Nokia plans to make available in Europe, Asia, and Africa in the second quarter of 2002, and the 9290 Communicator, scheduled to be rolled out in the U.S. in the same quarter. It will also be available for the 7650 later this year.