updated 10:40 am EDT, Fri May 8, 2009
Nokia Ovi Store to get 20K
Nokia's Ovi Store will open with a much larger catalog than its immediate rivals did when they were new, the company said late Thursday. Executive VP of services Niklas Savander estimates to Forbes that the portal will launch with about 20,000 "items" when it launches in late spring, just ahead of the N97 touchscreen smartphone's July release. While a significant number of these will include short-form videos, most will be apps and should include games from N-Gage as well as general apps.
The Finnish company also hopes to manage the global scope of the store by using the GPS on most of its smartphones as a way of filtering content, with city guides and other local tools getting more prominence when a user is in the area.
In contrast, Apple launched its App Store for the iPhone with about 500 apps while Android Market appeared with closer to 50, suggesting that Nokia will have a greater head start. Nokia, however, is helped by bringing over legacy apps and its existing international reach. It's also unclear as to how well the Ovi Store will scale as Apple has already crossed the 40,000 app mark in less than a year of allowing third-party native apps.
Nokia is also facing resistance from US carriers to fully support the Ovi Store; they will allow access but haven't agreed to carrier billing, which puts app purchases on the regular phone bill.