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Nokia’s Ovi store on the up, R&D going down

Nokia's Ovi store and Symbian shipments are going up despite pending R&D cutbacks

Nokia’s Ovi app store has hit the five million downloads a day mark, despite speculation regarding its future since the Finnish manufacturer entered a deal with Microsoft earlier this year. The app store offers more than 40,000 products but many believe it’s unlikely to survive in the context of Nokia’s agreement to ship Windows 7 phones from 2012 onwards. Microsoft has its own app store, Windows Marketplace, and it seems unlikely that the pair can co-exist in an ultra-competitive market.

Nokia said that the growth was “propelled by the latest Symbian devices, which account for about 15 per cent of the daily downloads” from a 200-million-strong Symbian user base sets it on an interesting future course; the likes of Gartner and IDC are predicting that Nokia Symbian phones will be replaced almost entirely by W7 ones by 2013. This despite Nokia’s announcement earlier this week that it plans to ship at least 150 million Symbian smartphones in the coming year and will continue to offer software updates for the platform. This leaves the company with support and content obligations that will extend beyond any tapering-off of its home-grown offerings in favour of Microsoft’s.

Nokia’s work on beta applications for in-app billing and advertising on Symbian are likely to attract more developers to the platform, leaving speculators pondering exactly what the manufacturer’s strategy going forward could be. Nokia CEO Stephen Elop told the Financial Times that its leadership team had identified the transition from Symbian to W7 as one of the most challenging aspects of its new strategy; Jo Harlow of its smart devices division told the FT that “The easier task is to start Windows Phone from a fresh perspective, but the more difficult task is to continue to operate Symbian.”

News of the Ovi store’s success comes on the back of reports today that Nokia may cut up to 6,000 jobs from its research and development division as it prepares to cement its alliance with Microsoft. Since 2007, the Symbian platform has slipped from a market-leading position in excess of 64 per cent to a predicted 19 per cent for this year. The deal with Microsoft is expected to be finalised by the end of this month.

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  • Nokia Corporation


2 comments

  1. Lee Wright 13/04/2011 @ 3:00 pm

    The opening of the Nokia Developer Day event in Barcelona focused on their announcement with Microsoft a few days earlier. In answer to a question from the audience about whether the Ovi store would remain, Nokia CTO invited Matt Bencke, General Manager of Microsoft’s Windows Phone and Marketplace, onstage to answer this and other questions. He stated that they will have “a special marketplace” for Nokia phones. The implication I took away was that the Ovi store would cease to exist.

    • David 15/04/2011 @ 5:28 am

      yes, a bit like the phrase, ‘no firm decision has been made as yet’

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