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Nokia Sets Its Sights On Photos, Videos, Music

Nokia not only wants to redefine how consumers use cell phones, it wants to re-label them as multimedia computers that can play music, take photos and watch video. The company unveiled its latest gadgets this week, including the N95 high-end camera phone with keys for playing and pausing music. The phone, with a sliding cover, signals a return to innovative design for the company after high-profile lapses. The new phones range in price from $450 to $700. Nokia also unveiled an updated version of its N91 dedicated music phone that now holds about 6,000 songs. Nokia sells almost twice as many phones as its closest competitor. But it faces stiff competition from higher-end cell phones with more music functions, such as Sony Ericsson's Walkman-branded phone. Some analysts predict that cell phones with built-in music players will eventually steal sales from dedicated player devices, like Apple Computer Inc.'s iPod. But many of Nokia's music-enabled phones are able to hold only a small number of tracks and aren't realistic substitutes for specialized music players. "It's easy for Nokia to sell phones with music capability. Getting people to use them will be a much bigger challenge," says Ben Wood, an analyst at Britain-based research firm Collins Consulting Ltd.



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