You didn’t think Nokia was going to sit on the sidelines of
the downloadable application market forever, did you?
The leading cell phone company has quietly expanded its Ovi
Store to the world — well, almost.
U.S. consumers will have to wait a little
while longer before they’re able to download games and gadgets to their Symbian-equipped phone (or other select Nokia device).
While you can’t yet buy from the store, you can window shop
at https://store.ovi.com/. It’s a noteworthy first
step, but don’t expect Apple to break a sweat at this point. Nokia may have a
much larger installed base of customers, but the offerings at Ovi don’t yet measure
up to depth or number of offerings in the App Store. (For example, there are less than 100 games
offered at Ovi’s site, versus over 10,000 in Apple’s App store.)
AT&T will introduce the Ovi Store later this year,
according to PCWorld, which speculates payment methods could be behind the
delay. (Ovi Store purchases can be made via credit card or by tacking the charge
onto your wireless bill.)
Whatever the reason, the delay give Nokia a chance to
further polish the store before it launches in the critical U.S. market. Taking
on Apple (not to mention other application offerings from BlackBerry and
Windows Mobile), is a daunting task – and a poor start could quickly doom Ovi
to “also ran” status.