Nokia is attempting to make up for some lost time by making a big splash with its upcoming Ovi Store. With over 20,000 titles ready to go at launch, Nokia is in a good position to compete with Apple’s App Store which has about 40,000 apps.
Nokia’s number of titles at launch is a sharp contrast to many of today’s first app stores. For example, the Android Market started with a mere 50 applications. Even Apple’s popular App Store only offered about 500 applications at launch.
You’ll notice we’ve said Nokia will offer about 20,000 titles. In other words, these are not all apps. Store items are said to include games, general apps, and even short video clips, photos, and audio files. There will even be an entire category of short videos and “mobisodes.”
One very unique feature of the Ovi Store is that it will use
GPS to find and recommend content based on the user’s location. The Ovi Store’s
recommendation engine will also be able to recommend content based on a user’s
preferences and those of his friends and family. (You’ll be able to opt-out of
the recommendation and GPS content features for privacy reasons.) In addition
to various titles, the Ovi Store will be used as a distribution platform for
new firmware releases and updates to already installed software.
The Ovi Store gets its name from the Finnish word for "door." The store will represent a wide range of languages and cultural content which will potentially make it the most global app store yet. Nokia typically offers products in more than 60 languages. So far, U.S. and Asian companies are providing the bulk of the content though many countries, languages, and cultures are represented in the store.
The store is scheduled to open in late spring. The first handset to ship with Ovi will be the much anticipated Nokia N97 which will hit the market in July. The Nokia N97 will feature a touchscreen and a QWERTY keyboard. Ovi will also be made available to all S40 and S60 handsets. As with other app stores, developers and content owners will be able to set their own prices. Nokia spokeswoman Leslie Morgan Nakajima said there will be a mix of paid and free content.
Nokia is facing some resistance from U.S. carriers in receiving full support for the Ovi Store. Let’s hope they can work things out before launch.