The forthcoming launch of Nokia's Ovi Store has been hampered, according to a senior exec, by the complexities surrounding the technical integration of the app store with a wide portfolio of handsets and operator billing systems.
According to Niklas Savander, Nokia's exec VP of services, the launch of Ovi Store could have happened much sooner had it not been for these integration difficulties--a problem not faced by Apple given its present handset strategy. However, Savander claimed Ovi Store would operate on the basis of a single sign-in and one user identity, "just like you get on a credit card-based store like iPhone."
"The user interface is clearly not an issue when you only have one product," Savander said. "But we're trying to get to a broader audience than iPhone. The main aim is consistency--there has to be logic even across different devices or when there is co-branding with operators. In everyday terms that means, for example, making sure the log-in to Maps is the same as Ovi--same shopping cart, same billing gateway, navigation, etc."
Commenting on a report from Reuters that Nokia was dropping operator billing in the US, the company said this was untrue and that Ovi store billing and rollout strategy remained on track. "We still plan for both operator and credit card billing, although these options may roll out in different phases."
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