Nokia, the world's number one manufacturer of mobile devices by market share and a leader in the converging Internet and communications industries, has finally released its own version of the iTunes App Store, dubbed the Ovi Store. According to the company, the Ovi Store allows users to purchase and download applications, games, videos, podcasts, productivity tools, web and location-based services, and more.
Nokia handset owners can visit the venue at store.ovi.com by using their Nokia device browsers to immediately start downloading and personalizing their devices. With roughly 20,000 different items currently on offer, the Ovi Store can be accessed by 50 million Nokia device owners, the company reveals in a press release issued earlier today.
It is worth noting that Apple's App Store debuted with just 5,000 application titles, and currently holds 40,000 + apps, paid and free.
Ovi Store products are localized in English, German, Italian, Russian, and Spanish, while operator billing is available in Australia, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Russia, Singapore, Spain and the U.K. The rest of the world pays using credit cards. AT&T, the #1 mobile operator in the US, will begin to offer integrated support for the Ovi store later this year.
"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," Tero Ojanperä, executive vice president, Nokia Services, said. "Ovi Store makes shopping for content and applications easy and fun for feature phone and smartphone owners alike."
Nokia, this time around, is only following Blackberry, WinMob and Android in releasing its very own version of the immensely popular App Store. However, none is likely to achieve the functionality and reliability of Apple's solution to distribute apps for iPhone and iPod touch.
One thing Nokia already isn't doing right is that it forces customers to actually type in an address (store.ovi.com) by opening their phone's browser, whereas Apple has a direct launcher (the App Store icon) taking customers exactly where they want to be in mere seconds. Just as important, the App Store's main page displays the latest approved apps, as well as the newest updates available for their existing software, while downloading and installing a program is done with just two taps of the screen.
Let us know what you think of Nokia's new Ovi Store (compared with Apple's), after giving it a quick glance.