Nokia to relaunch Ovi in 2010

Nokia is planning a major overhaul of its under-performing Ovi platform.
 
Nokia vice-president of products, media, George Linardos, told a media briefing that the online store will be replaced by a new version in the northern Spring, Mobile Entertainment said
 
The new functionalities to be added include in-app payment, localized content and social networking elements.
 
He said the current version was designed to consolidate Nokia's content distribution initiatives – Download, MOSH and WidSets – and was not meant to be a long-term fix. It is the first time a Nokia executive has described Ovi as an interim measure.
 
Ovi was serving just under 1 million downloads per day and growing at a rate of over 100%, with around 80 million active users, he said.
 
Linardos admitted Nokia was unprepared for the rapid growth of the iPhone app store, but hopes to take a “tortoise and hare” approach to competing, FT.com said
 
The company has been tuning Ovi to better compete with Apple's offering, and to incorporate feedback on Ovi posted on public forums.
 
“We have screens up in our offices running the Twitter feeds all day long. It’s like sitting there and getting punched in the face,” he said. “But when we make improvements we see the impact instantly.” 
 
Nokia is aiming to shift its business focus to from handsets to applications and services. The company has also this month closed three Nokia retail stores, planning to rely more on retail partners for handset distribution.  

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