Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Nokia's Ovi Store Officially Opens For Business

Hoping to follow in the successful footsteps of Apple and the App Store Nokia has officially launched their very own application store. Starting this morning Nokia officially opened the Ovi Store to an estimated 50 million Nokia device owners across more than 50 Nokia devices.

Customers can visit store.ovi.com through their Nokia device browser to immediately begin downloading, personalizing applications, games, videos, podcasts, productivity tools, web and location-based services and much more.

"Ovi Store is open for business and we've stocked the shelves with both local and global content for a broad range of Nokia devices," said Tero Ojanperä, Executive Vice President, Nokia Services. "Ovi Store makes shopping for content and applications easy and fun for feature phone and smartphone owners alike."

Currently the app store is only available in English, German, Italian, Russian, and Spanish and only supports operator billing in Australia, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Russia, Singapore, Spain and the United Kingdom. Global users can utilize credit card billing for fee based applications through the mobile application and the mobile website. Nokia has promised that they will be adding additional countries, languages, devices and features throughout the year. As well as announcing an agreement with AT&T, which plans to make the Ovi Store available to its customers in the United States later this year.

In the early going the store has received mixed reviews. Early this morning CNet News reported issues with site slow downs tot he point that purchasing a paid application during testing was impossible. TechCrunch has even gone so far as to call the launch of the store a "complete disaster" citing not only severe slow downs but disappearing applications or duplicate applications and an overall unorganized overly complicated feel.

The Ovi team posted a response to a few of the re-occurring performance issues:

Shortly after launching the Ovi Store at 2 am ET, we began experiencing extraordinarily high spikes of traffic that resulted in some performance issues for users accessing store.ovi.com and store.ovi.mobi. We immediately began to address this issue by adding servers, which resulted in intermittent performance improvements. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused Ovi Store users and encourage you to continue giving us feedback as we develop the service further.

The Ovi Store device client, however, has continued to perform very well and there were no reported issues from users logged on through that entry point.

Several other sources believe the Ovi Store might be a step forward and will eventually be a huge success for Nokia. That is once they work through the growing pains. The fact that the store can be accessed from over 50 different Nokia handsets and can be reached from any mobile provider's network may prove to provide a much larger reach than that of the App store.

For more on the launch of the Ovi Store checkout Nokia's full press release.

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