NokiaWe’re proud to announce that we’ve started a partnership with Nokia this month to cover the mobile phone company in greater detail. We look forward to bringing you lots of interesting details that otherwise may not have been widely written in public. This first post is about the Nokia Ecosystem and what it means today for those developing software for it. We talked to Karen Lachtanski, who works in Palo Alto for Nokia.

ArcticStartup (AS): Many forget that Nokia has a wide variety of phones available – what amount of applications are made for phones outside the smart phone group?

Karen Lachtanski (KL): While we do not share how many apps are available for smart phones and feature phones (many may develope for both), we can share that of the 5 million downloads from Ovi Store daily, downloads for feature phones are about 25% of the total downloads in the last two months – this is a growth of 35%. As feature phones become ‘smarter’ the consumers using them are just as hungry for apps as are their smart phone counterparts.

AS: What are some of the ways developers have created value in these areas?

KL: In a variety of ways. Some developers use Java to create games. Some developers have created SMS based subscription apps and some developers are creating web apps based on existing web content, for example, blogs and newsfeeds. For developers, they can try new things, new business models, to see what works best for their content.

AS: Ovi Store is especially strong in China – how do developers see this possibility?

KL: Nokia currently has 65% of market share in China for app downloads. Additionally, Nokia consumers in China can pay for apps through operator billing (China Mobile and China Unicom). In general this means a higher rate of paid app downloads as the consumer is comfortable being billed by the operator instead of using a credit card. For developers this is an advantage as there is less of a barrier for consumers to download their apps. Ovi Store is also available in Simplified Chinese which removes a language barrier. More than 10 developers in China have seen more than one million downloads of their app.

Nokia has also made available Nokia Web Tools to developers. These Tools make it quick and easy for developers to create rich web experiences on feature phones. Some developer video testimonials can be found here:

Editors note: While Nokia has definitely encountered many changes in its strategy in the recent year – it still continues to awe with its widespread distribution potential. Recent Ovi Store statistics show that Nokia is able to distribute content to 190 markets, in 32 languages, over 135 devices. Furthermore, they provide great monetisation possibilities for startups; operator billing is available for 112 operators in 37 markets as well as credit card billing in 170 markets.

While smartphones are mostly making the headlines in media today, there are still approximately 600 million feature phones (Series 40), which support Java.

Some other fresh statistics worthwhile mentioning:

  • 80% of Ovi Store visits convert to downloads
  • Ovi Store attracts more than 5 million daily downloads
  • 400,000 new Nokia developers were added in the last 12 months
  • 158 publishers from 41 markets have over 1 million downloads each on Ovi Store

We look forward to bringing you great content regarding Nokia. If you have any tips or thoughts regarding this series of posts, don’t hesitate to contact us through e-mail at [email protected].