Nokia Ovi vs Apple App Store

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Mobile carriers and handset makers are facing stiffer competition and ever-thinner margins as new technologies, new concerns and new economic surroundings take their toll.

To cope with it, they are coming with innovations and call of the hour, as it seems is App Store.

Apple Store

Apple began its App store as a step of innovation and on the requests of the developers who wanted to create applications for iPhone. The innovation was and is a big hit with developers bringing in the applications and users downloading them. App Store is so popular with the users that within a year of its launch, it has touched 1 billion downloads.

Apple, the brand name is synonym for innovation and trend setter. It’s all devices sets the expectation bar high and raise the level of competition. Until now, Apple was the only vendor having App store for its iTunes and iPhone. But now, Nokia has forayed in this segment to yield a tough competition to the earlier one.

Nokia Ovi Store

Nokia, on the leagues of Apple announced its Ovi Store at the Mobile World Congress this year. The N97 will be the first phone integrated into the service, with the remaining phones following. The Ovi Store fuses Nokia’s existing content services into a one-stop-shop for free and paid content. It pushes Nokia’s vision one step ahead for its larger array of mobile services, Ovi.

The article is a deep insight of what lies beneath: What is in stores for end users and developers and how could is redefine the software battle between two giants.

Comparison between the two Stores

Both vendor, Mac maker and Finnish leader in mobile making will offer a 70% revenue share to developers.

Despite of this similarity, the basic difference lies in factors that pushed the vendors in bringing these App stores. Apple, at one hand initiated application store on public and developers request to develop products for the iPhone while Nokia’s initiative is purely its own decision. The proposal originated totally from business prospective and idea behind it is to stream revenue into the company with a share of app sale prices, and to potentially push the sales of cellphones and Smartphones.

Apple brought its App store for iPhone whereas Nokia has plans to bring applications for dozens of different handsets with two different Symbian OS’s aboard.

The Ovi Store would offer services which include Ovi Music Store, N-Gage Gaming Service, Ovi App Store, Mashable Widgets and Nokia Maps. Nokia’s initiative can be contemplated as mixture of iTunes, App Store and Google Maps combined with a couple more services. Further to these applications, Nokia’s “comes with music” service is one another attempt to lure users.

Being more or less similar in their mottos, both the stores differ in the way they help the users to find the relevant applications for themselves. With Apple, users often get confused as they have to spot the relevant ones from the sea of junk.  Contrary to this, Nokia seems to work hardly on its Ovi store and has deployed a higher degree of relevancy in its search options. Most relevant applications gets pushed “to the surface”.

Apart from the relevancy engine, Nokia has also customized its Ovi store. The Store is not meant only for Smartphone but also suggests things you might like and adds social location dynamics to show you relevant applications. It only presents you the content and apps that are actually compatible with your device.

Apple has already set milestone and Nokia still has to prove its worth in this filed. Both are big brand names but appeal and strategy are different. Although Ovi and iTunes services are aiming at different markets: Apple to its smaller but brand-loyal hoard of Smartphone users, and Nokia at countless millions of its own users. Ovi with big name launch partners already signed including Facebook, MySpace, EA, Qik etc is eager to take on Apple. On the other hand, Apple has plans to allow developers to add in-app payments to applications sold through its iPhone App Store to move ahead in the market.

Through in-app commerce, Apple will allow its customers to complete transactions within the applications. With this it seems, Apple will redefine the economics of mobile application market and will leave its competitors clueless.

From here onwards, how the market scenario changes and what will be the impact of Ovi stores on Nokia’s financial positions will be under scrutiny globally.

Apart from Nokia, many others like RIM, Google, Microsoft and now Sony Ericsson have announced to come up with their app stores. However, the success ratio will be defined with the novelty and approach.

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