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Nokia snaps up unified address book vendor

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Nokia is to acquire address-book-on-steroids purveyor Cellity, obviously hoping to bring some of that Palm Pre centralisation of data onto its own devices.

Cellity is a small company of 14 people based in Hamburg, Germany. It produces a product called "Addressbook 2.0", which aggregates data from the usual social-networking services and presents an address book combined with messaging that fits in rather well with how Nokia sees mobile communications developing.

Palm's Pre makes great play of its ability to populate the on-device address book with data from Facebook, LinkedIn, et al. Some users have complained that their Facebook friends aren't really friends as such, but that's a symptom of how those users view the networks rather than any systemic problem. The real power isn't in just scraping the data, but keeping it synchronised, as well as picking up status and presence information for display right in the address book.

Nokia demonstrated this almost a decade ago, with an address book that linked to servers based on the Wireless Village standard, showing how an address book could be so much more. But Wireless Village died and the idea never got developed, until now.

It seems likely that the static address book, as a list of ways in which an individual may be contacted, is not long for this world. So if Nokia are to complete, they need something like Cellity. Whether Nokia can make effective use of Cellity remains to be seen, but there's certainly potential to do so. ®

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