You could be forgiven for thinking Apple’s iPhone is the only platform with downloadable applications. That’s the impression many consumers have, and although other platforms have had apps and games for years, it has taken Apple to show them how it’s done, with great execution and a large investment in marketing creating a truly viable market for third-party downloads.
But while BlackBerry App World and Android Market are slowly gaining traction, only Nokia is putting its money where its mouth is with a TV, print and poster campaign that has already seen Ovi Store downloads increase 70% month on month, even before the campaign has really got going.
It’s true there have been technical teething problems, but improvements are rolled out frequently, demonstrating a commitment to taking feedback from publishers and users (unlike others we could mention) and quickly addressing problems. Still, Nokia is often the pariah of trendy developers who eschew the perceived difficulty in programming the Symbian platform, but Ovi Store supports apps built with Java, Flash and Nokia’s WRT widget technology too. If you gave up on the Ovi Store experience when it was first launched, it’s time to take another look.
There are two big reasons why the time is right to target Ovi Store with your content. The first is the potential volume. Say what you will about Nokia, the fact remains it is still number one with more than double the number of smartphones sold last quarter than Apple. While Ovi Store needs to be downloaded to all but the most recently shipped models, the advertising blitz is making sure that happens. What’s more, the most popular markets for Ovi Store are the Middle East, Russia and Southeast Asia, where Nokia remains well ahead of Apple, as well as Western Europe.
The second and most timely opportunity is to get in on the ground floor and take advantage of the large numbers of new users drawn in by the advertising, of the phones sold this Christmas preloaded with Ovi Store, of the lack of competition and of the opportunities for co-marketing that Nokia will undoubtedly offer anyone who brings compelling content to its platform.
For those of you regretting not getting into the iPhone before it became too hard to stand out, the Nokia Ovi Store is the best placed of all the alternatives for growth in 2010. While for those of you who already have a hit app for the iPhone, consider which is less risky – making a new iPhone app and hoping it’s as big a hit as your first, or taking an existing proven success and increasing the addressable market for it?