[by Cerius Shah] The handset VAS market is all set to burst into the new year. Nokia (NYSE: NOK) is going medieval on other manufacturers with OVI with plans to customize content offerings for the Indian space. This ET article mentions tieups with Infomedia for yellow page services, the South India Music Companies Association (SIMCA) for music and other music labels. And then there’s the usual focus on ABC – Astrology, Bollywood and Cricket. They are looking at their Priority stores and retail outlets to push the service with a bulk of development being done at the R&D lab in Banglore.
The sub-Rs 10,000 multimedia (its 2008 but we still like buzz words) phones will do wonders for the market, provided GPRS rates are palatable. Going by the list of services Ovi will offer, its a definite gatekeeper in the making. As a nice aside, this Sam Pitroda interview has him talking about the importance of applications on next gen handsets. The Value Added Service game is going to be key in differentiating handsets beyond tetrapixel cameras and all-in-one telephony solutions.
Nikhil adds: The SIMCA tie-up is impressive, given the number of stories we hear about companies struggling to deal with the association. Not quite Bollywood, apparently.