Ovi – which means “door” in Finnish – is the new app store for Nokia’s Internet services, replacing older Nokia services such as Widsets, Download!, and MOSH. The Ovi services can be accessed from a mobile device, a computer (using Nokia Ovi Suite) or via a web browser (Ovi.com).
Nokia’s Ovi focuses on five key areas: Games, Maps, Media, Messaging and Music. It ambitiously aims to include third party developers, such as operators and third-party services. Announcing Ovi Maps Player API means Nokia has started to evolve Ovi into a platform. This means that Nokia is moving deeper into the world of Internet services, rendering inevitable head-on competition with Microsoft, Google and Apple.
Ovi Store has the biggest reach in terms of the addressable market. It can be accessed from around 250 million devices worldwide. Although Nokia were a bit late reaching the market, arriving in mid-2009, it really grew rapidly in 2010. It reached one million downloads per day in January 2010 and was up to four million in January this year, so it’s certainly increasing its user base.
Ovi also has a small advantage over other markets since it has deals with 99 operators to provide integrated network operator billing in 27 countries. Easy billing is a key incentive for consumers when accessing mobile content – Ovi’s setup means they can add it on to their monthly bill or top-up credit. This is especially important when Nokia targets consumers in countries where credit card penetration is quite low. Hence, some of the biggest countries for the Ovi Store are Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, India and China.
It’s also a positive thing for developers, although they get less of a revenue share compared to other app stores. For the Ovi Store, where there’s network operator billing, a developer will get only 60%.