Nokia Unveils Ovi Store, Application Sales To Debut In May

At the Mobile Word Congress in Barcelona, Nokia has unveiled its initiative to try and repeat the runaway succes of Apple’s App Store with its own mobile storefront dubbed Ovi Store. This was an expected move as the rumors about the Finnish mobile juggernaut’s mobile applications store already spread last week; they were late confirmed to Reuters by industry sources.

Here’s how they pitch it:

“Offering a range of content including applications, games, videos, widgets, podcasts, location-based applications and personalised content, Ovi Store will be available on S60 and Series 40 devices. The first device to include the mobile storefront on board will be the Nokia N97, set to launch in June. Meanwhile tens of millions of existing S60 and Series 40 devices will be able to take advantage of the store from May. Ovi Store is unique in its ability to target content based on where you are, when you’re there, why you are where you are and who else has downloaded similar content.”

That last part, as well as the geo-location features, seems interesting. Ovi Store will include what it calls a ’social discovery’ feature which will enable users to find out which content is being used by their social network peers, as they will automatically be highlighted and made available for download on their devices.

Nokia, still the number-one maker of mobile phones until further notice, expects that the store will reach 300 million users by 2012. According to The Guardian, Nokia also said 70 percent of revenues from the store would go back to software developers.

As from today, content publishers and developers will be able to register for the Ovi Store here, but they will only be able to upload starting next month. The application store will be gradually rolled out, starting next May in nine countries.