Nokia recently filed international patents for two possible device lines, the C-Series and the X-Series. No substantial information is known about either of these possible model lines, and even taking inventory of other patents Nokia has and hasn’t used doesn’t shed much light on their possible use.
However, recent moves by the Finnish manufacturer towards its Maemo and Symbian platforms might shed some light as to where the C and X-Series might end up.
Possibilities for the C-Series
The C-Series was the first patent uncovered, and could mean a number of things due to some of the terms associated with its filing: mobile, mobile software, mobile accessories, etc. However, given Nokia’s recent interest in communications, connectivity, and community, a device line with the moniker of “C” could point to a clearer execution by Nokia on all of these areas.
Also, the Symbian platform used for virtually all of Nokia’s devices has been pushed far enough to the mid- and low-ranges that its possible that C-Series devices would be simpler Symbian devices utilizing some of the widgets and homescreen enhancements seen on devices such as the N86, 5800XM, and N97.
Also, Nokia has been hard at work developing and promoting services which use open-source community development, and community-reaching applications such as Ovi Maps and Apps on Maps could point this C-Series in such a direction.
Using the Symbian platform to reposition Nokia as a community, connected, and communications player would seem to point well in the direction of the C-Series being used as part of a re-branding initiative, possibly with all its consumer-oriented devices being part of this new product line.
Possibilities for the X-Series
The X-Series is a bit harder to pin down, mainly because “X” when used by other makers in other industries has described everything from experimental, to top-of-the-line, to “just different from the norm.” If Nokia follows suit, it’s possible its X-Series could be related to its Maemo initiative.
Nokia is slated to release its first device(s) running the Maemo 5 Linux operating system later this year. This iteration of Maemo will be the first to feature community-driven development from several angles (an experiment), and positions the platform to eventually be used for high-end mobile phones in Nokia’s stable (just enough different from other device’s top ranges) with its support of GSM and HSPA wireless data.
The X-Series could, in a sense, be a reposition of what the N-Series used to be for Nokia — a technology showcase of what’s possible from a manufacturer that has traditionally been a few steps ahead of other makers, and has the supply-chain relationships and market position to take chances others cannot.
Other Notables in the Patent Filings
There were also several other patents filed by Nokia, but one would be hasty to think that all of them will be used.
Within these filings were model designations for E-Series devices from the E53 to the E99. There was a patent for a technology called Nokia Money which facilitates micro-payments. Another patent was for a device called a Booklet — but no clear terms as to what its positioning would be, or what its key features would be.
There were several other items which appeared in the filings, and this would be the case with any manufacturer. It’s common practice for manufacturers to patent several model names, technologies, and ideas, yet none of them come out of the lab.
One thing is clear though from these filings; Nokia has an aggressive view as to where it sees itself as a mobile player in terms of devices and services. These patents demonstrate that it is making moves, only time will tell if these patents are the moves that it needs to make to stay on top of the mobile world.