Ovi Store was stopgap, admits Nokia, with new version under development

The much-criticised Ovi Store, which Nokia claims is currently generating nearly one million downloads a day, will be replaced with a new platform next Spring. The company has admitted the current iteration of the Ovi Store had always been intended as a stopgap measure, designed originally to consolidate Nokia's various content distribution initiatives--Download, MOSH and WidSets.

This startling confession, made by George Linardos, the company's VP of media, came after Nokia said that today's Ovi Store download traffic was growing 100 per cent month-on-month, but that work had been underway on a completely rebuilt version of the store.

"All the while there's been this new platform being built in the background, which we'll be talking about in the next couple of months and launching in the Spring with what we're calling more of a refresh, or replatforming," said Linardos.

"It's being built from scratch with a few legacy components, which will be phased out over the course of 2.1 and 2.2 [2.0 is the code name for the refreshed version]. So it'll probably be about 75 per cent from scratch, and three or four months after that it will be 100 per cent."

New features will include in-application payments, a redesigned user interface that makes apps easier to discover, and faster operation. Longer-term, Ovi Store will include recommendations based on friends' app purchases and more localised content.

"This is part of a broader, widescale reorganisation that is going on from top to bottom in Nokia's business," said Ben Wood, analyst at CCS Insight. "On Ovi, they need to get all their ducks lined up, including hardware, software and services. At the moment, none of those are working properly."

How the many disillusioned users of Ovi Store will accept Nokia revealing that today's service is little more than a beta version remains to be seen. Given that the company is attempting to rebuild its strategy around services and move away from a reliance on handsets, its first major venture looks somewhat poorly managed.

For more on this story:
Mobile Entertainment
and Financial Times

Related stories:
Ovi Store could be opened to other platforms, says Nokia
Ovi Store attracts criticism, not subscribers
Nokia admits to Ovi Store integration issue
Sizing up the Ovi Store five months on

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