Companies like Nokia were in the mobile phone business long before Apple but with the iPhone and App Store, Apple has been able to eclipse larger rivals in the innovation department.

Today, Nokia fired back at the App Store with an app store of its own: Ovi Store.

In a launch announcement on the Nokia Conversations blog, Nokia's Mike Cooper wrote that Nokia believes the Ovi Store will "spark a rapid evolution in the way we all use our mobile devices".

By going to or the Download! section of their phone, Nokia owners can sign in to the Ovi Store and start consuming.

Unfortunately, things are off to a rocky start at the moment. According to Nokia, "Extraordinarily high spikes of traffic" have led to "some performance issues" and lots of people are reporting that the Ovi Store is slow or completely inaccessible. Steve Litchfield of and Robin Wauters of TechCrunch chimed in with further complaints, of which there are plenty floating around. Perhaps the most problematic: complaints about the poor selection of apps.

To be fair to Nokia, launching the Ovi Store isn't an easy undertaking. Unlike Apple, Nokia has a portfolio of devices that it offers around the world and it serves over 50m phone owners. That means it reasonably faces a lot of challenges that Apple didn't. There's no way this global launch like this would be easy for any company.

But that's no excuse. Consumers want service and performance. Right now, it looks like Nokia is struggling to provide that. Obviously it's early in the Ovi Store's life and Nokia has plenty of potential customers, even if some were turned away today.

Nokia's fate with the Ovi Store will rest in making sure that the store is easily accessible and filled to the brim with compelling apps. Given the lure of Apple's App Store and all of the development platforms developers have to choose from today, the latter may turn out to be Nokia's biggest challenge.

If Nokia isn't able to convince developers that the Ovi Store is reliable enough to get consumers through the purchasing process, many developers will go elsewhere. Today's rocky start probably hasn't helped Nokia in that regard.

Photo credit: aresjoberg via Flickr.

Patricio Robles

Published 26 May, 2009 by Patricio Robles

Patricio Robles is a tech reporter at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter.

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Comments (1)


Deri Jones, CEO at SciVisum Ltd have used Content Distribution Network (CDN) supplier Akamai, so wonder why that didn't prevent the web performance problems? Used well, CDN is great for quick scaling. (Cloud computing for some folks will be the new CDN, I guess.)

Maybe Ovi didn't have a big enough CDN contract in place? Or their web app was not designed with CDN usage in mind - maybe a quick bolt on after-thought?

about 9 years ago

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