When Nokia launches its Ovi Store marketplace for applications that run on the company's smartphone, the store will debut with "thousands" of applications.
MONTE CARLO -- When Nokia launches its Ovi Store marketplace for
applications that run on the company's smartphone, the store will debut
with "thousands" of applications, Nokia officials said at the Nokia
Developer Summit 2009 here.
Eric John, director of marketing for Forum Nokia, the cell phone
giant's developer outreach organization, said there are thousands of
applications in the pipeline being vetted by Nokia, and that when the
much-anticipated Ovi Store debuts in May it will have at least 1,000 or
more applications on it. A Nokia staff member demonstrating how Ovi
Store worked in the conference exhibit hall confirmed that at least
1,000 applications will be available on day one.
However, not only will the Nokia Ovi Store launch with a vast number
of applications, Nokia is promoting its industry-leading market share
as a key driver for why mobile application developers should look at
Nokia's application store.
"We have extraordinary global reach and scale," John said. "And we
enable developers to take what they know and build what they want," he
added, noting that developers can bring their knowledge of C and C++,
the Symbian OS, Java, Flash and standard Web technologies to build
applications that will run on the Nokia platform. Essentially, John
said Nokia hopes the capability to sell their applications for the
world's leading mobile platform by sheer numbers alone will be too
enticing for developers to pass up.
John said there will be all kinds of applications available on the
Ovi Store, including a number of enterprise-style applications that the
company refers to as "productivity" applications that will be helpful
to business users.
The Ovi Store will be Nokia's response to the wildly popular Apple
App Store, which enables developers to sell the applications they have
created for the iPhone.
"We're glad they are having the success they are having with App
Store, because now I don't have to explain what the term 'app' means,"
John said. "Apple has popularized the term."
Srikanth Raju, director of product marketing for Forum Nokia, said
Nokia held an event at its facility in Mountain View, Calif., where the
company invited iPhone developers to come in and talk about
opportunities to build applications to or migrate their existing
applications to the Nokia platform and Ovi Store. "And we filled the
hall where we held the event," Raju said. "Those iPhone developers said
they were very interested in delivering apps for the Ovi Store."
Rob Taylor, head of Nokia Forum, said in the end it is all about the
money that can be made on the Nokia Ovi platform, and both Nokia and
the developers will benefit. "We want to be able to make more money
together," he said. "In short, it's about making money."
Taylor said that "very soon" Nokia is going to be launching the Ovi
Store to 50 million devices. "And we're about ready to conclude a
project where we've embedded hundreds of apps on regional versions of
the N97," The N97 is Nokia's "cool" new phone that will be launched in
June. Raju called the N97 an "iconic device" that can challenge the
iPhone in coolness, and added that Nokia has several more such "iconic"
devices hitting the manufacturing floor now and in the coming weeks and
In addition, Nokia is offering Ovi Discover, a service to make it
easier for people to discover applications on the Ovi Store. And upon
launch, the Ovi Store will feature mobile billing, but it will only be
available in seven countries initially, the company said.
Nokia is charging developers a one-time $50 fee to register their
application for Ovi Store and to have it certified. That fee is waived
for members of Nokia's Champions or LaunchPad developer programs.
However, like Apple and other mobile app store providers, Nokia is
offering a 70-30 split with developers to sell their wares on the Ovi
Store. Nokia gets 30 percent and the developers gets 70 percent of the
sale of each application.
John said once a developer submits an application to Nokia to be
available on Ovi Store, there is a vetting process that could take up
to five to 10 days, although it could be shorter depending on what is
required in the overall quality assurance process for the application.
"We're enabling developers to be self-service publishers," he said.
"We help developers learn, build and earn," Raju said.
Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.