Nokia Research Center: Welcome to Hollywood

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Yesterday Nokia announced that it opened a new research lab in the entertainment capital of the world, Los Angeles (well, really Hollywood). Nokia Research Center (NRC) Hollywood will work with the M&E industry to continue to drive innovation in the convergence of the Internet and mobility, including the mobile entertainment space.

This is among a long list of investments that Nokia has made over the past couple of years to transform itself from a hardware to a content and services company. This includes a significant investment in location (NAVTEQ for $8.1 billion), and other investments in content/media, advertising, messaging/community and social networking/media. Its services efforts are being funneled through its Ovi front-end portal for mobile web and content services.

What remains a question for me is how successful Nokia can be with its new services focus in the U.S. Key to its success is having a significant installed base of high-end devices, which it does not have in the U.S. market.