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Nokia buys contact manager Cellity

The handset maker has announced plans to acquire a German company that provides a hub for contact information from various sources, including social networks
Written by David Meyer, Contributor

Nokia is to buy Cellity, a German company that provides contact aggregation and internet telephone services.

The deal was announced on Friday, and financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. According to Nokia, the deal is expected to close in the third quarter of the year, after which Cellity's 14-strong team and its technology will transfer to Nokia's services unit. However, the Finnish handest maker will not take on Cellity's current customers.

Nokia said it hopes the acquisition will "strengthen its competencies in the area of social networking".

In a statement, Nokia services chief Christof Hellmis said: "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."

Cellity's product, Communicator, is a hub for contact information from various sources, such as mobile phones, social networks and email accounts. Aside from making it possible to reply to an email with a text message, for example, Cellity also provides a low-cost, callback-based internet telephony system similar to that offered by Truphone.

Contact aggregation has recently started to emerge as a key feature for new smartphones, with devices such as the Palm Pre and the HTC Hero making it possible to see an acquaintance's contact details, Facebook status updates and Twitter feeds in one location.

In a blog post on Friday, Cellity's marketing chief Sarik Weber said his company would "begin ramping down" its service, as Nokia and Cellity had agreed that current services will not transfer to Nokia.

"Beginning 30 September, 2009 our service will no longer be available for use," Weber wrote. "As of today, unfortunately, no further top-ups will be possible. We kindly ask you to use up the remainder of your existing account balance before the end of September. Additionally, if you have stored contacts with us in our social address book, please remember to download them before the end of September."

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