What is Ovi?
Ovi is the new ‘umbrella’ brand for all of Nokia’s internet services, which are comprised of apps, music, games, audio and video clips, and maps. The website, Ovi.com, is a central point where all of these services are pulled together.
What’s the bigger picture?
There is a misconception that Ovi is only an application store. In reality, Nokia is looking to stretch the concept beyond that. Aside from all the services listed above, users can also share photos and other files, and communicate via ‘Ovi Mail’ – accessible from users’ phones and Ovi.com. This suggests that Nokia is looking for Ovi.com to become something of a social network for its users.
How does it compare with the Apple App store?
The Apple App store, as its name suggests, is very application centric. Nokia’s store, to its credit, is geared towards offering a greater depth of services. However, Ovi is still quite raw, and has some way to go before it can match Apple for user experience, and in terms of quality and quantity of the apps on offer.
How will it affect the industry?
Unlike other rival app stores, operators get a cut from each sale made on Ovi. The manufacturer says it wanted to create a service that was ‘operator friendly’.
How do you pay for it?
Ovi is the only service of this kind that charges users directly through their phone bills. Apple charges users to their iTunes account, BlackBerry World uses PayPal, while Google Market users pay via debit or credit cards. Ovi offers a mix of free and paid for apps, as do the other stores.
Why is it called ‘Ovi’?
It’s Finnish for ‘door’.
Which handsets is Ovi available on?
Nokia says Ovi works in some form on 70 handsets, although the best experience will be on Nseries devices.
It is not quite the Apple store, but Nokia has put Ovi at the centre of its future.