Ovi Store downloads hit 5m a day | Mobile Devices | Mobile Entertainment

Ovi Store downloads hit 5m a day

Ovi Store downloads hit 5m a day
Tim Green

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Devices / Nokia / April 12th 2011 at 10:27AM

Nokia celebrates with two new devices and a 'renewed' Symbian user interface.

The app store era hasn't been easy for Nokia, which launched Ovi relatively late in comparison to Android and iTunes. And it's old news to state that the firm has underperformed in the smartphone space.

But it still shifts a huge number of devices, and its 200m-strong army of Symbian users demand apps regardless of the sniping of experts.

The 5m landmark is up from 3m a day last November, and is based around an app store containing 40,000 apps (up nearly eight times in a year), with 1,000 more added every week. It puts Ovi on target for 2bn by year end.

Nokia says 158 developers from 41 countries have now accumulated 1m downloads each.

Of course, besides sheer end user numbers, the other great advantage that Nokia has in the app space is operator billing.

The firm says this functionality is available via 112 operators in 36 markets – that's 25 times more than its nearest competitor (presumably Android, with just three).

It claims operator billing increases consumer transactions by up to four times.

Now, Nokia expects to maintain the momentum by extending the 'refreshed' Ovi to Series 40 devices, to enable apps 'for the next billion mobile phone consumers'.

On the few devices this is currently available for, downloads have grown by 35 per cent.

The new phones announced today are the E6 and the X7, both of which contain the updated Symbian software, with new icons and usability enhancements such as improved text input, a faster browser and refreshed Ovi Maps.

"We are further strengthening Nokia's smartphone portfolio with these two new devices, both of which offer a more beautiful and intuitive user experience that will soon also be available for the Nokia N8, Nokia E7, Nokia C7 and Nokia C6-01," said Jo Harlow, head of Nokia's Smart Devices business.

"With these new products and more Symbian devices and user enhancements coming in the near future, we are confident we can keep existing Nokia smartphone customers engaged, as well as attract new first-time and competitor smartphone users."

The E6 has a QWERTY keypad and access to Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft Communicator Mobile and Microsoft SharePoint.

The Nokia X7 comes with an 8 Megapixel camera and is preloaded with Galaxy on Fire HD and Asphalt 5 HD games.

In coming months the software update, which is nick-named Symbian Anna, will also be available to download on previously purchased models of Symbian smartphones.

Without doubt, these are great numbers for Nokia. But the wider question of what happens to Ovi when Nokia fully embraces WinPho7 is still to be properly answered.