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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Nokia endorses Islam

From Trade Arabia (the press release is on a number of other sites as well):
Nokia said it has launched of a range of mobile applications and content for the holy month of Ramadan.

It said the new solutions are free and come preloaded in select Nokia devices or as downloadable applications.

’The overwhelming response and feedback that we received from last year’s offering allowed us to improve and expand this year’s application, making it a complete solution that gives Nokia users a single and easy access to many of the cherished experiences that Muslims like to be close to during the Holy Month,’ said Chris Braam, vice president, sales, Nokia Middle East and North Africa.

The 2008 Ramadan offering from Nokia includes the Holy Quran, which allows users to read, search, bookmark and listen to Quran recitation.

Other elements include Emsakya, Ramadaniat and Mozzaker.

Developed by ASGATech, the only Forum Nokia Premium Partner in the Middle East, all content of the Ramadan applications has been reviewed and approved by Al Azhar Al Shareef.

Building on Nokia’s existing Maps platform, the new mobile services also feature locations of major mosques in KSA, UAE, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, and Pakistan, which can be navigated to using the Nokia Maps service.

’As the number one mobile device company in the world, we are now expanding into offering services and software that empower and enable Nokia device owners to fully realise the benefits of mobility, and the Ramadan applications come as part of this strategy.

’In 2007, 14 per cent of Nokia’s global net sales came from the Middle East and Africa, so this is a region that is greatly important to us and we have committed to ensuring that we are tailoring solutions that meet the local needs,’ added Braam.

Current users of the [supported devices] will be able to download the Ramadan applications, content and services, regardless of their location, through www.nokia.com/ramadan, which is available in English, Arabic and French.

The English Nokia Ramadan site is here.

This is not a third party Islamic site offering software for phones. This is Nokia specifically pushing a religion, advertising downloads of the Quran including "Audio Narrated by Sheikh Ali Al Hudhaify."

As far as I know, Nokia doesn't offer anything similar for Christians or Buddhists (although third parties do.) This is simply a multinational company choosing to endorse a single religion.