Yesterday, Nokia Corp. (NOK) announced a partnership with social-networking giant Facebook to innovate a next-generation personal and location-based Internet application. Named “Lifecasting with Ovi,” this new service will enable people to publish their location and status updates directly to their Facebook account from their mobile handsets.

Nokia has also introduced a new 3G mobile handset called N97 mini that will feature this innovative social-networking service. Through this service, Nokia unveils a new kind of communication patterns to help navigate people and places.

The Nokia N97 mini features new software which will be released in October as a free update for the Nokia N97. The N97 mini will also feature updated Ovi Maps, which together with the global pedestrian navigation, offers access to premium content from Lonely Planet, Michelin and Wcities.

The smart-phone market is getting fiercely competitive. Nokia, despite being the global leader, is gradually losing market share to Research In Motion (RIMM) and Apple Inc (AAPL).

According to Gartner Inc, Nokia’s share has fallen to 45% in the second quarter 2009 from 47.5% in the year-ago quarter. Meanwhile, market share of Research In Motion jumped to 18.7% from 17.3% in the year-ago quarter and that of Apple Inc to 13.3% from a mere 2.8% in the prior-year quarter.

In order to protect its leadership position, Nokia expanded its Ovi ecosystem for increasing number of third party open partnerships. In the previous month, the company entered into an agreement with its former arch rival Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) to incorporate the mobile version of MS-Office software suite in Nokia handsets.
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