Nokia hails accelerating Ovi services adoption

The Finnish handset manufacturer says its Ovi Store is seeing 2.3 million downloads a day, and analyst firm Forrester has said reports of the app store's death are 'greatly exaggerated'

Nokia's Ovi services are seeing increasing uptake and now have almost 140 million users, the company has revealed.

The Finnish firm, which is trying to transform itself into a services company rather than just being a handset manufacturer, used a blog post on Friday to describe the accelerating adoption of Ovi as "pretty good progress".

According to Nokia, there are now 2.3 million Ovi application downloads a day, which is "300,000 more than a couple of weeks ago", it said. In March, there were 1.5 million such downloads a day, and in August the figure stood at 1.7 million. Nokia has offered Ovi services since 2009, although the Ovi Store had a rocky launch.

In the blog post, Nokia said 200,000 new users are signing up to the Ovi services system daily, and 70 developers have each had more than a million downloads through the Ovi Store app store. The company declined to tell ZDNet UK how many of these apps are paid-for, or how much developers are making on average.

The company also refused to give a breakdown is of application types. Ovi services include mapping and communications software, and there is also a package of developing-world agriculture and education apps called Ovi Life Tools that, according to Nokia, has more than 4.7 million subscribers in India, China and Indonesia. Ovi Mail and Ovi Chat have more than 17 million users, the company said.

Nokia is struggling to crack the North American market with its Symbian operating system, as Apple's iOS and Google's Android are more touch-friendly and much more popular in that region. However, Symbian still dominates the mid-range handset market. Statcounter's most recent statistics have Symbian at 33 percent of the global smartphone operating system market, while iOS is at 23 percent, RIM's BlackBerry OS at 18 percent and Android at 10 percent.

According to Forrester analyst Thomas Husson, "reports of the Ovi Store's death were greatly exaggerated".

"Nokia simply cannot afford to fail," Husson wrote in a blog post on Friday. "On the contrary, it is now catching up, particularly in emerging countries, where Nokia clearly differentiates thanks to its unique local presence and relationships with operators."


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