Nokia World – Why we may actually be at the wrong event

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Behold: The New! (Screenshots)

Slowly, but surely the real issues are starting to come out at Nokia World. And it’s really all about the software at the end of the day. Which makes one wonder – are we at the right event?

First. Nokia’s new flagship touchscreen mobile the N8, which is clearly an excellent device in terms of hardware, still won’t even ship with the Ovi Store pre-installed as a matter of course. On many version the store will have to be be downloaded and installed, according to representatives at Nokia World.

Second. On the upside, in-app purchasing and advertising will come to the Ovi store and be integrated with operator billing. That’s something iPhone and Android don’t do yet. So that will be a key advanatge for developers. The Ovi Store already allows this in up to 91 countries. So potentially developers could make significantly more money on the Ovi store than competitors, assuming people have the store on their phone in the first place and the store is good enough at helping people find apps. Yes, Nokia plans to make it more lucrative for developers by improving the Ovi store UI, tools etc. But one issue that doesn’t seem to be concerning Nokia is an equivalent to Apple’s genius function to aid discoverability.

Yes, I know all about the arguments that it’s better to have the right 50 apps than 250,000 bad ones. But that’s not going to incentivise apps developers is it?

Finally. We all appear to be at the wrong confernece. Developers may well indeed ask, where is Meego? Because although Meego must surely be the future for Nokia, scanning the agenda, you’ll find only one session on Meego at the developers Summit. There is literally no other mention.

Instead, it’s clear that the upcoming Meego conference in Dublin will turn out to be the real moment when we can glimpse Nokia’s future, assuming it has one.

  • Titanas

    Nokia mentioned that 2 out of 3 people prefer operator billing instead of credit cards. I think they also mentioned that only 40% of Germans have a credit card but i might be wrong about that.

    • Rurik Bradbury

      2/3 prefer operator billing? Seems high. Apple has over 150 million credit cards on file with iTunes. It’s a much nicer user experience, as they itemize on your credit card which apps you bought, as opposed to burying them in small print on a cellphone bill (in the US, phone bils are especially scummy as they tack on all sorts of fees and extras, and deliberately obfuscate what you are paying).

      And while 40% of Germans have a CC, 99% have a debit card. That would do perfectly well for online purchases in an app store.

      Nokia is in a tough spot: it relies on carrier relationships for distribution; but carriers often place consumers second, behind their own money-grubbing.

      The carrier billing situation with Nokia is currently nasty, as it creates a 3-way revenue split (Ovi/carrier/developer). It’s a tax and accounting nightmare — look at the developer complaints on the Nokia forums.

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