Nokia TV to join family of exclusive Windows Phone apps

In our interview this week with Nokia executive Mark Slater – the company’s vice president overseeing its AT&T efforts – we asked how Nokia is able to differentiate its Lumia handsets from other Windows Phones, given the hardware limitations that Microsoft has imposed on the platform so far. In addition to aesthetics and distinctive materials, Mark cited the range of apps exclusively available on Nokia’s Lumia devices as a further means to stand out from the Windows Phone pack.

So far, we’ve seen an interesting collection of apps and services on Nokia’s handsets, including Nokia Drive (with its voice-guided satnav features), Music (with free Mix Radio streaming) and Transport (with public transport journey planning for around 500 cities worldwide), among others.

Keen to expand its range of exclusive software further, the company has announced the upcoming launch of its new Nokia TV app. The new streaming service will be free, with no sign-up required, and will allow Lumia owners to select from a range of television programmes to watch on their handsets.  Nokia calls the new app “a free signature hub experience for catch-up TV services”.

The service will launch initially in Finland, and while Nokia has so far resisted commenting on plans to bring the app to other markets, it did say that “Finland is the ideal country in which to introduce this service”, which at least implies that it won’t be the last or only country to eventually get it.

Image via Nokia Conversations

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the video playback media controls really bother me. it's quite annoying when you want to scrub to a certain part of a movie and the transparent black box covers half the screen

Nokia is going about this the right way. And if Microsoft is smart, they'll pay Nokia to perhaps make integral parts of the Windows Phone platform, a la Drive/Transport/TV and integrate it into the system so that *all* Windows Phones can benefit.

Nokia is really on its way to becoming relevant again in the United States. By all accounts the 710 has been selling very well, and the clamor around the block is that the 900 is selling well (in regards to pre-orders). I expect it to sell very well, especially at prince points of $99, $49, and free when advertising picks up more.

Nokia would do best to continue to expand their product line. Apollo can't get here soon enough for Microsoft. They don't need to overdo it with their product line in the US, but giving consumers the 710, 800, 900 and eventually a premium device will go a long way to making Nokia relevant again in the US.