Nokia announced Friday it is to acquire small German social networking firm cellity for an undisclosed sum. The privately-owned software company was founded in October 2006 and says its ‘Address book 2.0’ product “enables all contact data to be imported from a wide variety of sources (mobile address books, Outlook, Twitter, social networks) to one place.” Address book 2.0 sits within its Communicator suite of products. cellity claims its free applications have been downloaded over 8 million times in more than 160 countries and work with any mobile and SIM card. Nokia will acquire cellity’s team of 14 staff as it attempts, in its own words, “to strengthen its competencies in the area of social networking.” Surprisingly, cellity’s current service will not transfer to Nokia and the service will be discontinued.
The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 2009 and cellity’s staff will become part of Nokia’s Services unit. Nokia has put a huge focus on its strategy of combining “services with high-quality devices” as it faces competition from traditional device manufacturers as well as new competition from the PC and Internet industries. Deals with the likes of Loudeye, Twango, Enpocket and Plazes, as well as the US$8.1 billion it spent on digital mapping company Navteq in 2007, have seen its Internet services strategy focus on such key areas as music, games, messaging and location-based services. It is now heavily pushing its new Ovi Store as well as Comes With Music, although both suffered from negative publicity at launch.