Looking to merge mobile phones with PCs, Nokia has expanded its presence in Silicon Valley and is exploring a wireless network that local developers can use to try out new applications. At its recently opened Nokia Research Center in Palo Alto, California, the Finnish mobile giant is opening up its local research efforts by bringing in startups and developers to talk about new ideas. Previously, Nokia's work here was focused on supporting the company's internal efforts, said Tero Ojanpera, Nokia's executive vice president and CTO.
Ojanpera and other executives spoke at Nokia's Mobile Mash-Up event on Tuesday in Santa Clara, which brought together venture capitalists, developers, and partners to discuss new mobile applications. The world's largest mobile handset maker is reaching beyond phones into handheld data devices, such as the N800 Wi-Fi computer, and sees mobile platforms at the heart of future computing, they said. Along with that, they want a more open development culture similar to that of the PC industry, in which ideas percolate up from many small startups. "As long as it touches mobility, we're interested in it," said Bob Iannucci, senior vice president and head of the Nokia Research Center.