Nokia Dumps VoIP

August 25, 2008 by Garrett Smith

It looks like that for the near term the fairy tale relationship between Nokia and VoIP has ended. Om Malik first reported last week that the latest Nokia phones are shipping without the VoIP capabilities which once made them the darlings amongst the VoIP community. This development comes at an interesting time, seeing as Mobile VoIP services are gaining traction, which should full further sales of VoIP enabled/compatible phones.

One doesn’t have to look too far in order to find the reason for Nokia’s change in heart, though. It is no secret that cellular carriers throughout the world aren’t fans of VoIP and when the world’s leading handset manufacturer, one which has characteristically lead the charge when it came to enabling innovative new services, it means carriers are serious. This is a sticky situation for Nokia (and other handset manufacturers) since both the carriers and the carriers customers are Nokia’s customers; each of whom want something different. Nokia obviously played it safe with this move, siding with the carrier, but what might the true effects of this move be?

The first logical result is that this will prevent another roadblock for consumers who want to use Mobile VoIP services, which should serve to slow adoption rates. A loss for one customer, but a win for another (the carriers).  If handsets cannot support VoIP, the entire Mobile VoIP industry goes under.

The second, and what I feel is the most likely result, is that another handset manufacturer will step-up and seize this opportunity that Nokia has created by no longer supporting VoIP. One has to think that Mobile VoIP is not going to die and that there is another handset manufacturer out there willing to roll the dice and take a leadership position within the Mobile VoIP space. Who will that be? Stay tuned.


2 Comments

  • Not quite, Nokia’s still got the SIP stack, but they’ve changed a few things around so some stuff is currently broken (like Truphones app).

    Fuller details – http://conversations.nokia.com/home/2008/08/the-report-of-t.html

  • Garrett Smith

    @ Jim

    I saw that announcement, however, even though the SIP stack is there, the client is removed, which means while those N series handsets can “do VoIP”, they “can’t do VoIP” without a client.

    Removing the native client forces folks to go get a client (like Truphone’s), but this also limits the usage to Truphone’s service.

    So, yes, technically Nokia didn’t get rid of VoIP completely, but this move sure hasn’t made VoIP easier (in the short term) for consumers and Mobile VoIP providers.

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