updated 01:10 pm EST, Mon February 16, 2009
Nokia Ovi Store official
Long rumored, Nokia has officially announced the Ovi Store, the cellphone maker's own answer to services like the Apple App Store and RIM's forthcoming Application Center. Scheduled to open in May, the service will merge existing Download!, MOSH and WidSets content into Nokia's Ovi platform, allowing people to buy games and other applications for S40- and S60-based phones. Users will also have access to widgets, podcasts, videos and customization downloads.
A particular emphasis of the store is said to be on location-based content, as it will highlight media based on a person's current location. If permission is given, the store will also be able to flag items downloaded by peers in a person's social network. Shoppers will be able to pay for downloads both through credit cards and carrier billing.
Though access to the Ovi Store should become widely available to existing devices, the first phone to be preloaded with support will be the N97, slated to launch in June. Companies lining up to deliver material for the store include Fox, Electronic Arts and Facebook, among others. General pricing schemes have not yet been disclosed.