Nokia Readies Its Ovi App Store For Smartphones
"The Ovi Store will consolidate the best experiences from the current content services including Download!, MOSH and WidSets to a single channel... The content will range from applications, games and videos to widgets, podcasts, location-based applications and personalization content for Nokia Series 40 and S60 devices."
The Ovi Store will offer more than just a standard bevy of applications, such as games, utilities, and news. If a user enables the Ovi Store's location-aware and "social discovery" features, the store will also offer personalized content suggestions based on where the user is physically located as well as what the user's social connections are downloading. Apps can be purchased using a credit card or "through operator billing."
Nokia claims that 70-percent of the gross revenue from app sales will go to the app developers. Developers can sign up for access to the Ovi Store here. Developers who sign up for access must choose what kind of content their apps represent, from a list of categories that currently includes ten "Applications," ten "Games," three "Personalize," and three "Audiovideo" subcategories. Nokia has also set up an Ovi publishers Facebook group as well.
Bringing an app store online for Nokia makes a lot of sense, as there are presently more Nokia smarthones worldwide than any other type of smartphone. Nokia phones have a much smaller piece of the smartphone market in the U.S., however--a recent survey by AdMob shows that Symbiam OS-based phones represent only about 2-percent of all smartphone-based Internet requests in the U.S. So the addition of Nokia's app store to the app store marketplace probably won't make a big difference to the U.S, market. However, apps stores from Microsoft and Palm--which are both expected to come online sometime this year--will have more of an impact in the U.S.--AdMob estimates that Windows Mobile smartphones make up about 14-percent of the U.S. market, and the brand-new Palm webOS operating system will be used in the upcoming Palm Pre, as well as other future Palm smartphones.