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Nokia Plugs Location Into Facebook, Relishes 'Underdog' Status

Nokia (NYSE: NOK) used the opening day of its two-day Nokia World gathering in Stuttgart to announce a widget that lets mobile Facebook users add location data and maps to their status updates. It’s a lifecasting plugin for the existing beta Ovi Maps app and uses handsets’ built-in GPS.

But it is a pretty modest step, given Nokia’s previous grand LBS announcements like Point & Find, which hasn’t yet been delivered to the mass market. Nokia’s previously heralded SoLo (social location) idea, which would combine the phonebook with location data, is again due to be discussed.

In his keynote, CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo addressed onlookers’ criticisms that Nokia has been too trigger-happy with its announcements: “The critics have been right,” he said, promising all services previewed at this Nokia World will be available to try within 48 hours.

This year, Nokia finds itself with falling market share, a worsening image in the US and behind Apple’s curve on smartphone UI innovation – but it still has the opportunity to deliver location-based services to the masses.

We know we still have a lot of work to do,” Kallasvuo said, “but we have a solid plan in place … our ambition is nothing less than to create the biggest delivery platform for services for mobile …

Piece by piece, we are building a new Nokia. Is it an up-hill climb? Of course it is, and we still have a way to go – but we at Nokia relish the role and challenge of the underdog.”

Although the latest flagship consumer handset, the N97, has received poor reviews, Kallasvuo said it was selling at a faster rate than its popular N95 predecessor. Future Nokia devices will come in three categories, he said: “Phones, smartphones and mobile computers.”

Nokia World is giving the handset maker a chance to further discuss the Booklet 3G netbook (full specs,