Nokia Planning To Build Massive Social Network Using Smartphones?

Nokia is betting that mobile social networking could potentially be bigger than existing web-based social networking as they plan to ship hundreds of millions of mobile phones with Geolocation features in the next 24 months.

The world's largest phone manufacturer sold nearly 440 million handsets in 2007, accounting for 40 percent of mobile phones sales worldwide and expects that number to grow in 2008 as the global market is set to grow by around 10 percent this year.

The firm plans to ship around 300 million GPS-equiped phones by 2010 according to Niklas Savander, Executive Vice President, Services and Software at Nokia World.

Should the firm sign the vast majority of the new mobile phone owners (and potentially open the scheme up to other mobile phone manufacturers), Nokia could be creating a social networking entity bigger than Myspace and Facebook combined.

Simultaneously, Nokia will launch a blitz campaign to capture mobile phone users who do not have an email account, which according to David Fields, Product manager at Nokia, accounts for 75 percent of the world population.

The mobile phone giant aims at achieving this by using its own OVI platform and combined with a new Messaging application.

Nokia's newest N97 offers a new feature called "Social Location" or SoLo which will allow social networks to be updated in real-time thanks to the integrated A-GPS and onboard compass.

More at Robert Scoble's Friendfeed Page.