Nokia to acquire cellity for social address book expertise

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Nokia today announced that it is acquiring certain assets of cellity, a small privately owned mobile software company. cellity's current services, which are focused around managing and syncing contacts between different web services, will not be transferred to Nokia; rather Nokia will acquire the cellity team to strengthen its own 'competencies in the area of social networking'. Read on for more.

cellity's current product, cellity Communicator, enables easy conference calling, low cost international calls, cheap SMS and social networking status update messages. Part of this product is the cellity address book (2.0), which collates and updates contact information from different sources (e.g. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, your phone's ad and many more) to create a single unified address book. The various communication options outlined are then presented as communication options for each of the contacts in the unified address book.cellity was continue to evolve it product with instant messaging and presence scheduled to feature more heavily in future releases.

cellity's work here is clearly in the area which has been variously termed the social address book or address book 2.0. This looks to combine the traditional address book with information from social networking services to create a contextually rich, multi-channel presence aware contact list. The social address book is seen as one of the golden promises of the convergence of mobile and Internet, and it is a 'hot' area that is currently receiving a lot of attention.

The same themes are found in the 'socially aware' INQ 1 phone, the Synergy concept in the Palm Pre's WebOS and the web service aware contacts application of the new HTC Hero. Nokia too is working in this area in its Ovi Contacts and Nokia Messaging products. It's likely the cellity team will help accelerate Nokia's work in this area as they look to integrate Nokia's Ovi products with external services.

Nokia's agreement with cellity is expected to close within the next 60 days at which point the cellity staff will become part of Nokia's service division.

Here's an extract from the press release:

"cellity has a very talented and innovative team, which we are very happy to have on board at Nokia. With this acquisition, we can accelerate our service development in some of our core areas," said Christof Hellmis, Vice President, Services, Nokia.
"We are excited that Nokia has chosen our team and technology. With our experience from building social networking solutions, we can help Nokia further develop their services offering," said Nils Weitemeyer, CEO of cellity.