Nokia's Ovi app store launches [iPhone envy]

ovi-storeNokia has begun rolling out its new app store – the Ovi Store – for both S60 and S40-powered handsets. It’s already available in Australia and a growing list of other countries. No UK or US availability — yet, however. I’ll update this post when and if that changes.

Update: the Ovi Store has launched in the UK and US now, although the service is slow and unreliable as Nokia, presumably, attempts to scale it live. Hopefully this will be sorted in the next day or so. It’s early days but not the best of starts.

Announced at Mobile World Congress back in February, the Ovi Store is the handset maker’s direct response to Apple’s phenomenally successful App Store for the company’s iPhone and iPod touch devices. Here’s what I wrote when the Ovi Store was first unveiled at MWC:

The Ovi Store will offer “a range of content including applications, games, videos, widgets, podcasts, location-based applications and personalised content”, and will be available on both S60 and Series 40 devices. The first handset to ship with the store pre-installed will be the recently announced Nokia N97, which is set to launch by June. Sensibly, Nokia will also make the Ovi Store available to existing S60 and Series 40 handsets through a simple download in May. Revenue from paid-for apps will be split 70/30 in the developer’s favor, exactly the same deal offered by the iPhone’s App Store. All very Apple-esqe, so far.

However, here’s where Nokia is at least attempting to be different: “Ovi Store is unique in its ability to target content based on where you are, when you’re there, why you are where you are and who else has downloaded similar content”, all of which fits perfectly with the company’s ambitious Social Location (SoLo) strategy.

For those countries where the Ovi Store is already available, users need to navigate to the now legacy Download! app and refresh for new content. The Ovi Store app can then be found in the “Nokia Extras” folder or “Promo” folder, depending on handset and region.


last100 is edited by Steve O'Hear. Aside from founding last100, Steve is co-founder and CEO of Beepl and a freelance journalist who has written for numerous publications, including TechCrunch, The Guardian, ZDNet, ReadWriteWeb and Macworld, and also wrote and directed the Silicon Valley documentary, In Search of the Valley. See his full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

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