Nokia's Ovi Store launch marred by server issues

The handset maker's answer to the iPhone App Store and the Android Marketplace has opened for business, suffering server overload in the process

Nokia has rolled out Ovi Store, a marketplace for handset applications, but has seen its servers struggle to deal with user demand.

The Ovi Store, launched on Tuesday, is designed to support around 50 Nokia models. The storefront can be reached using a mobile browser or using a standalone Ovi Store application that can be found in the device's 'Download' section.

The browser-based Ovi Store suffered from poor performance on launch day, with registration issues and server time-outs widely reported on the web and Twitter. The Ovi team subsequently blogged that Nokia's servers had experienced "extraordinarily high spikes of traffic that resulted in some performance issues for users accessing and".

"We immediately began to address this issue by adding servers, which resulted in intermittent performance improvements," Ovi Store product marketing chief Eric John wrote. "We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused Ovi Store users and encourage you to continue giving us feedback as we develop the service further."

John pointed out, however, that the mobile-client version of the store had continually performed well, with no issues being reported by users.

The client is available in English, German, Italian, Russian and Spanish. Billing is handled through the mobile client and website. However, in Australia, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Russia, Singapore, Spain and the UK, the client also supports billing through the operator. Nokia said that further countries and languages will be added later this year, as will more devices and features.

At its launch, the Ovi Store was light on business-oriented applications. Those that were available included MobiSystems OfficeSuite 5, an F-Secure mobile security package and a currency and unit converter.

The Ovi Store's rivals include the iPhone App Store, the Android Marketplace, the BlackBerry App World and the soon-to-be released Windows Marketplace.


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