Nokia promises improved Ovi Store with N8 release

Nokia said it plans to introduce new developer tools in conjunction with the scheduled Q3 commercial release of the N8, the first smartphone based on the fledgling Symbian^3 operating system, also promising an enhanced user interface and simplified cross-device development. "You'll see a big improvement in terms of the [Ovi Store] experience with the introduction of the N8, as well as with subsequent devices," said Nokia vice president of products and media George Linardos in an interview with Bloomberg, adding there won't be an "immaculate moment" when the store is perfect. "I look at this as the first innings of a very, very long game," Linardos said.

Bloomberg notes that even with the N8 slated to hit stores in the next few months, developer interest in Nokia continues to wane. "It's difficult for small developers to invest in the smartphone segment of Nokia when nobody knows its future," explained Jan Ole Suhr, creator of Twitter-based application Gravity. "The new shiny things aren't available and there's only the old-fashioned stuff, where it takes a lot of work to make the software look good."

Symbian's smartphone market share slumped to 44.3 percent in Q1, down from 48.8 percent a year ago, according to research firm Gartner. "Symbian needs a more competitive platform to attract users, early adopters who are the sort of people who download lots of apps," said Gartner analyst Nick Jones. "We may have to wait until Symbian^4 to get a really compelling Symbian device, so that the ecosystem may not start to achieve its full potential until 2011."

For more on Nokia's future:
- read this Bloomberg article

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