By now you may have already read about the new music and gaming services from Nokia - N-Gage was announced at the GDC many months ago, for example.
It’s unfortunate that these services will make little or no splash here in Canada, at least for the short- to medium-term. Rogers is the main mobile carrier that offers Nokia devices, and the selection is pretty limited. Only one S60 3rd Edition device, and the only other smartphone is the 6682, a device that’s now more than two years old. They don’t seem particularly interested in offering the latest and greatest devices to their subscribers (disclaimer: Ludicrous Software is one).
Since N-Gage and Ovi are designed to get people purchasing content off-deck, I doubt that Rogers will rush to introduce devices capable of using these services. Unlocked devices work just fine on Rogers network (and a good thing, too, for Flash Lite developers who want to market their content internationally), but I’m sure that the percentage of people who are even aware of the concept of unlocked phones, let alone actually use an unlocked phone, is so small as to be pretty much irrelevant.
From a Flash Lite perspective, this isn’t really a big deal - I haven’t seen anything definitively state that Flash Lite games will be available through N-Gage, for example. And as far as Flash Lite goes, at least Rogers is doing a decent job of offering Series 40 Flash Lite-enabled devices, and their one S60 3rd Edition device has Flash Lite 1.1 pre-installed. But anything that encourages people to see their phones as good for more than just talking and texting is good for all mobile software developers. Hopefully Canadians won’t have to wait too long to take advantage the latest and greatest that Nokia and other device manufacturers have to offer.