Nokia has announced the Nokia 6, its first Android smartphone, in collaboration with HMD Global. HMD Global, the Finnish startup with exclusive license to Nokia brand plans to launch at least 6-7 new Android smartphones this year and could introduce a new AI assistant as a differentiator.
Reports say Nokia is working on its own AI assistant, which may be named Viki. According to Dutch blog GSMinfo, Nokia has submitted a request for protection of a trademark with the name Viki. Nokia's trademark protection request describes Viki as "Software for the creation and monitoring of mobile and web assistants working with digital knowledge and combining all data sources into a single chat and voice-based interface."
Last year Google showed a renewed focus on AI assistants by introducing Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones with exclusive access to the Google Assistant. Apple has been shipping iPhones with Siri as its virtual assistant for nearly half a decade. At CES this year, Amazon scored a big win on AI assistants domain with its Alexa, while Samsung recently acquired Viv - developers of Siri, and rumours indicate that it will introduce dedicated AI in the form of Bixby with the Galaxy S8.
Nokia, which is trying to stage a comeback in the crowded smartphone space needs a differentiator. HMD Global has already promised to deliver on the legendary Nokia design and build quality, but AI could become the big differentiator on user experience perspective.