RealNetworks said yesterday that it has broadened its partnership with cellphone maker Nokia so that its audio and video playing software...
RealNetworks said yesterday that it has broadened its partnership with cellphone maker Nokia so that its audio and video playing software can be shipped on a greater number of mobile devices.
In 2002, the two companies agreed to make RealNetworks’ RealPlayer the standard media player on phones that used the Series 60 smartphone platform — the foundation for more than a dozen Nokia phones.
With the agreement announced yesterday, RealNetworks’ software could now be shipped on any Nokia device, the companies said. They did not say which specific devices may have the software in the future.
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Nokia had a 32 percent share of the mobile device market last year, and produced an estimated 643 million handsets.
It is advancing into growing mobile markets in Latin America, Russia, India and China, but saw disappointing sales in North America last year.
As part of a series of mobile announcements it made yesterday, RealNetworks said Nokia will join its Helix Community and will play an active role in developing Helix, the open-source digital media technology that powers some of RealNetworks’ software.
RealNetworks also said it is changing the way it licenses its audio and video playing software. Under the new licensing structure, handset makers that use another company’s player could still license technology from RealNetworks that would allow those devices to play audio and video clips that were made for use by the RealPlayer.
Previously, handset makers had to license RealNetworks’ entire player. Now, they can choose competing players and still have them play content in RealNetworks’ format.
Finally, RealNetworks said it would begin offering handset makers a kit they could use to make sure their Helix-based products were ready for consumer use.
Called the Technology Compatibility Kit, it includes dozens of tests that handset makers can run to make sure that a device’s hardware and software work together.
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