& cplSiteName &

App Insights: Nokia Ovi Store Professes Relevance

Sarah Thomas
4/27/2010
50%
50%

Before there was Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL), before there was Android, there was Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK). The global handset maker was among the first to try its hand at mobile services, but it hasn’t been the best. Now it's working to regain its top-dog status.

Nokia has spent the past year moving away from its top-down services approach and into the app store model, partnering for services it didn’t make sense to own and acquiring companies to fill in the gaps for those where it did. (See Is Nokia's Ovi Finnish'd?, Nokia Buys MetaCarta, Nokia Snaps Up Microbrowser Maven, and Nokia Acquires Novarra.) The Ovi Store has become central to its plans, but it hasn't all been smooth sailing.

“Ovi Store has been a bit of a mixed experience, to put it kindly,” says Heavy Reading senior analyst Gabriel Brown. When the store launched nearly a year ago, it was plagued with usability complaints, stability concerns, and criticisms over the number of apps, the process for downloading them, speed, search... just about everything, he says.

Nokia is, however, ironing out the kinks. Last week it hit the 1.6 million downloads-per-day mark with 9,500 content items available on its most popular devices. That’s impressive growth for Nokia, though not on par with Apple’s 6 million downloads per day. Nokia’s smartphone sales are also on the upswing, showing 50 percent year-over-year growth in the first quarter, driven in large part by what Brown says is its biggest strength -- a global customer base. (See Nokia Reports Q1.)

Nokia currently has more than 100 device models in use by consumers in more than 180 countries, with developers from more than 80 countries distributing its content. If the Ovi Store and device sales continue to improve, Nokia will have access to more and more users with capable devices, Brown believes.

Meanwhile, Apple’s iPhone will continue to flirt with saturation, making it harder for developers to make money in its crowded storefront. Even though Apple has the right target demographic, it is getting maxed out, says Brown. This is exactly what Nokia is hoping for.

“We’re a company that manufacturers and ships 1.2 million devices per day,” says Michael Bramlage, director of product management for the Ovi Store. “You get into interesting and attractive volumes when a majority of them will ship with Ovi stores embedded on the home screen.”

Nokia validates carrier billing
North America, where CDMA dominates and Nokia’s services often conflicted with carriers' own, has always been Nokia’s weakest market. That too appears to be changing, albeit slowly. Currently, 66 operators in 19 countries support the Ovi Store with integrated billing. That includes six AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) handsets in the US where the store is available as a download and T-Mobile US Inc. ’s Neuron, the first Nokia phone in the US to be pre-loaded with the Ovi Store.

Nokia’s billing experiences to date validate what carriers have been saying all along -- that consumers want integrated mobile billing. Where Nokia makes it available, more than two-thirds of its customers choose that as their preferred payment method, according to Bramlage.

Nokia also customizes the Ovi Store experience for its range of feature- and smart-phones, aiming for a loosely consistent feel that is optimized for the particular device and location. By running the gamut of low-end to mobile computers, fragmentation may make life difficult for developers who have to choose between Web standards for ubiquity or to develop for each individual handset, but for Nokia, Bramlage says it’s an opportunity to become the “world’s local app store.” Angry Birds by Rovio had nearly as many downloads via Ovi Store in a week as in six on App Store, he says.

Prepping for the road ahead
Nokia is on the right path, but it won’t be a smooth one. It will continue to see competition from Apple, Android, and other handset makers, including Samsung Corp. , which will debut its Bada OS and accompanying app store later this year, and from operating systems like Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)’s upcoming Windows Phone 7, which has many analysts drawing comparisons to Apple.

In Ovum Ltd. ’s survey of mobile app developers, Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) was the clear-cut winner in terms of network/server-side APIs that developers plan to support or already do. Surprisingly, with only 18 percent indicating plans for Ovi support, even the wireless operators beat Nokia by 7 percent in terms of the platforms developers were most likely to support.

Developers told Ovum that reach was the most important factor, followed by geographic and local presence, technical support, and, less so, issues related to business models. In those respects, Nokia appears to have a fighting chance. Ovum acknowledged that Nokia is a relative newcomer and the tide could be changing. For its part, Nokia at least appears intent on riding the waves.

“To the extent that we’re now seeing more than 1.6 million downloads per day and that upward trend continues, there’s a global appetite,” Bramlage says. “The pie is growing. This is anything but a zero-sum thing here.”

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

(6)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Michelle Donegan
50%
50%
Michelle Donegan,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:38:21 PM
re: App Insights: Nokia Ovi Store Professes Relevance
It's great to get more details on Ovi. As the world's largest handset maker, you'd think Nokia should be able to make it work. It will be interesting to watch its progress this year.
DCITDave
50%
50%
DCITDave,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:38:19 PM
re: App Insights: Nokia Ovi Store Professes Relevance


Ovi's growth is a UI indicator, too. Nokia's best N-Series phone a year or so ago was so confounding to use, even though it had all the services you'd want just a few button pushes away. I suspect that's no longer the case. It seems reasonable to assume that, while Nokia gains ground in North America, it really won't see a huge shift in its online business until it can challenge Apple by making an exceptional UI.


 

Gabriel Brown
50%
50%
Gabriel Brown,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/5/2012 | 4:38:12 PM
re: App Insights: Nokia Ovi Store Professes Relevance


Minor correction: Ovi Store launched in May 2009, not three months ago as stated in the article. 


Also, you can install Symbian apps from the Web, from email, from Bluetooth, etc. You don't *have* to use the Ovi store.


 

From The Founder
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Interviews
No Stopping Cable's Ethernet Gains

12|9|16   |     |   (0) comments


Vertical Systems' Erin Dunne explains why US cable operators, which now command a record-high 26% of the Ethernet market, will keep boosting their share.
LRTV Interviews
Fixing IoT Security Is an Ecosystem Challenge

12|9|16   |   05:34   |   (1) comment


Level 3 Communications' Chief Security Officer Dale Drew says service providers, manufacturers and even consumers must combine to halt massive DDoS attacks using IoT devices in botnets. The solution he has in mind includes reputation-based routing by the service provider but also more secure endpoint devices and greater consumer awareness.
LRTV Interviews
Cox Clears $2B in Business Revenue

12|8|16   |     |   (0) comments


Cox's Jeff Breaux discusses how the third-largest US MSO will reach the $2 billion revenue mark this year and plans to hit $3 billion by 2021
LRTV Interviews
Can Cable Climb Upmarket?

12|7|16   |     |   (0) comments


Carol Wilson and Alan Breznick assess cable's prospects for winning more enterprises in a landscape rocked by corporate M&A activity.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
TalkTalk Exec: Find Your North Star at Work

12|7|16   |   3:38   |   (1) comment


Women need to find their purpose, a professional North Star, and create a personal board for themselves, according to Alex Tempest, director of partners at TalkTalk Business.
LRTV Interviews
Verizon: Beware Unknown Unknowns

12|7|16   |   04:58   |   (0) comments


Chris Novak, director of the Verizon Enterprise Solutions Risk Team, explains that enterprises who don't conduct a thorough audit of their assets often leave some things unprotected because they don't know they exist. Many times these unprotected assets are part of corporate M&A activity but left unshielded they can become a hacker's playground, he tells Light ...
LRTV Interviews
ETSI's CTO Talks NFV, 5G & NGP

12|5|16   |   09:45   |   (0) comments


Adrian Scrase, CTO at standards body ETSI, talks about the various initiatives and specifications developments related to NFV, 5G and NGP (next-generation protocols) that will underpin next-gen networks.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Korn Ferry Consultant: How to Find, Cultivate & Be the Best Talent

11|30|16   |   4:10   |   (2) comments


Erin Callaghan, a managing consultant for Korn Ferry Futurestep, shares strategies for companies to improve how they recruit and for women to ensure they don't get lost in the pipeline.
LRTV Custom TV
We Can Make the World More Sustainable

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


GeSI is a global e-Sustainability Initiative organization bringing together 40 big multinational companies around the world. According to GeSI's report, information and communication technology can make the world more sustainable. Luis Neves, chairman of GeSI, shared with us his opinion at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
Finding a New Way to Engage Customers & Drive Revenue

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


Mobile revenues are declining. Digicel, a player in the Caribbean telecommunications/entertainment space, has found a new way to engage customers and drive revenue. John Quinn, CTO of Digicel, shared with us its story at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016)
LRTV Custom TV
Do You Really Need Gigabit Infrastructure?

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


Altibox is the biggest fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) player and the largest provider of video and TV in Norway. They started out with zero customers in 2002. Now they have close to half a million households and companies attached to their FTTH business. Nils Arne, CEO of Altibox shared with us their story and insight on 5G at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
BTís Openreach Strategy & Its Updates in 2016

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


A lot of developments at Openreach this year in terms of strategy and planned investments. Peter Bell, CIO of Openreach BT, shared with us the updates of Openreach at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016).
Upcoming Live Events
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
Cable Nodes Becoming a Choke Point
Brian Santo, Senior editor, Test & Measurement / Components, Light Reading, 12/5/2016
Consolidated Snaps Up Fairpoint for $1.5B
Iain Morris, News Editor, 12/5/2016
Small Arctic ISP Caches Netflix in New Way
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 12/7/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Eyal Waldman, CEO of Mellanox Technologies, speaks to Steve Saunders, CEO of Light Reading, for an exclusive interview about the 100 GB cable challenge, cybersecurity and much more.
Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
Animals with Phones
A Mobile Safari Click Here
Literally.
Latest Comment
Live Digital Audio

Even when there's a strong pipeline of female talent in the comms industry, it tends to leak all the way to the top. McKinsey & Company says women experience pipeline leakage at three primary points: being unable to enter, being stuck in the middle or being locked out of the top. Each pipeline pain point presents its own challenges, but also opportunities to stop the leak. Wireless operator Sprint is making a conscious effort to improve its own pipeline from new recruits to the C-suite, and it wants the rest of the industry to do the same. In this Women in Comms radio show, WiC Board Member and Sprint Vice President of Enterprise Sales Nelly Pitocco will give us her take on the industry's pipeline challenges. Pitocco, who joined Sprint in May and has spent 20 years in the comms industry, will also offer solutions, share how Sprint is tackling the challenge within its own organization and take your questions live on air.