Nokia Lumia users in Europe can now download e-books from a dedicated hub for the Windows Phone 7 device, raising the question of whether people are ready to read books on the small screen of their smartphones.
Users of the Nokia Lumia 800, 710, 610 and the new 900, which was released last month to strong reviews as the flagship of Nokia and Microsoft's smartphone collaboration, could already access location-aware navigation, photo editing, streaming radio and other content from the Nokia Collection of applications accessible from the Windows Phone Marketplace.
The new Nokia Reading hub, offering searches in multiple languages, will allow "publishers, including Penguin and Hachette, and Pearson to launch a world class e-book and audiobook experience that's been designed specifically for the Nokia Lumia," the company revealed in a blog post. Availability begins this week in France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Spain and the United Kingdom, with other countries to follow.
"While eBooks are becoming a common sight in countries like the U.S. and the UK, they are still in their infancy -- or basically unavailable -- in many parts of the world," writes Nokia's Ian Delaney in the company's Conversations blog.
"And this is where the strength of Nokia Reading lies: in local language e-reading content."