UPDATED: Nokia, AT&T working toward Ovi Store launch

Nokia and AT&T Mobility have developed a close relationship this year, with the carrier launching several high-profile Nokia devices. Yet one area of the relationship remains uncertain: when AT&T will launch support for Nokia's Ovi Store. Niklas Savander, Nokia's executive vice president of services, suggested that the companies were still finessing the details of the deal.

In an interview with CNET, Savander discussed Nokia's Ovi situation at AT&T, the nation's second largest carrier. He said that each relationship Nokia has with its various carrier partners is unique, and that the revenue cut that carriers get via Ovi varies depending upon the situation. Savander was asked if Nokia had been able to come to an agreement with AT&T on the revenue distribution of the deal.

"You might be able to look at this and say that perhaps the business conditions have not been attractive enough to AT&T," he said. "It's hard to dispute that. You can't say it's because the device is not good enough or the service is not good enough."

An AT&T spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. AT&T said in May that it would launch Nokia's Ovi Store later this year, but has not given any specific timetable. The companies are currently working toward the launch of the Ovi Store.

In the interview, Savander said that when AT&T launches Ovi, it will be a co-branded service. "The brands are not in any way conflicting, but they're complimentary," he said. "They will be visible on the devices, so we can create a setup where both parties' assets are being valued and there is a fair exchange. But you never know how it will eventually turn out until you have the ink on the paper." He also said that unlocked phones will not be able to access the AT&T co-branded store.

U.S. operators have employed a variety of strategies on the application storefront landscape. Verizon Wireless earlier this year unveiled plans to operate its own app store, while T-Mobile USA has pushed its own applications through Google's Android Marketplace.

For more:
- see this CNET article

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Article updated Nov. 2 to clarify Nokia's relationship with AT&T.