Our sister site MobileCrunch may be convinced that not every company needs an app store, but for Nokia to launch a central platform for distribution and sales of micro-programs developed for the Symbian OS, it would make a whole lotta sense.
Update (13 February): a couple of days later, Reuters confirms the news, citing two industry sources who say there will be a press conference on Monday morning.
And if what Eldar Murtazin, editor of Mobile-review.com (both blogs are in Russian) writes is true, then that's exactly what the Finnish juggernaut in mobile is going to launch at the upcoming Mobile World Congress. I concur with Engadget who says launching an application portal/store is a logical step to take for any mobile handset maker these days, but if Nokia is in fact going to launch one it will be worth taking a look at, and not only from a consumer or developer standpoint.
According to UnwiredView, this is what Murtazin wrote in Russian:
At first glance, for now, the app portal looks so so, there is some confusion. But they are trying, polishing it and a lot has changed for the better in a matter of days. A right step in a right direction… And the distribution and revenue sharing model between app makers and Nokia looks very attractive.
At this point, this is nothing but a rumor, but such a move would definitely make sense and Muzartin is known to have strong insider connections in the mobile industry so this isn't just a random thought from a blogger.
It's worth noting in this context that Nokia now fully owns Symbian Limited, but contributes the mobile operating system and S60 software to the Symbian Foundation, which is readying its official launch with a slew of members from the industry, including Sony Ericsson, Samsung, LG, Sharp and dozens more. There's also an active community site for Symbian developers already in place, so they wouldn't be creating an ecosystem from scratch.
Then again, as someone pointed out in the comments of the Engadget post, Nokia already has a couple of half-baked portals for mobile software, e.g. Mosh, Download! and Software Market, so it's unclear what would happen to those or how they would be able to morph these sites as well as the N-Gage platform for games into one single application store.
We'll find out more about Nokia's plans at the Mobile Word Congress, which is being held from 16 to 19 February in Barcelona.