I am currently playing with an iphone for a month to check out both how people are using it and what opportunities are there for the mobile platform for a regional newspaper group. Having had the phone for a paltry three days i have to say that i am already hooked. I could waste time rambling about how cool the phone, how good the mobile web browser is etc but you can read that elsewhere or just borrow one of a friend.
One of the drivers of the take up of the iphone has been the applications you can download onto the phone. This has been backed by the usual high quality of campaigns to promote how these apps can improve your life. From choosing a cab to finding a restaurant to working out a tip there are thousands of apps available both paid and free and that number grows daily. Of course the Google Android phone also allows you to run apps and unlike the iphone on Android the apps are open source so you can get them from other places apart from the locked down Apple App Store. Add to that the blackberry and windows app offerings and you can see that mobile applications is a burgeoning business.
Missing from this list though is the giant Nokia who sells around 40 million handsets a year compared to the iphones 20 million. However this week Nokia launches the amusingly called Ovi which sounds like a children's TV animation but is in fact its own App store. It is being launched this week in Some European countries and Singapore and will roll out across the world quickly.
Nokia has been slow of the mark with this despite the clear market dominance they enjoy. Having this huge number of handsets should create an immediate market for the store and a new revenue stream for Nokia but it will depend on how Nokia markets Ovi. T-Mobile launched the Google Android phone with a lot of people dancing together in Liverpool Street Station. This was very memorable but did not explain why you should buy one and every day the campaign was on i was also exposed to ads from Apple showing me how the iphone could improve my life through not just being a phone.
So Nokia although late to market has a great opportunity and i look forward to interest to see what messages and channels they use to push this new competitor to the iphones crown. If you want to know more feel free to visit here http://store.ovi.com/ however as a word of warning i dont think it has launched in the UK yet as i have already registered my phone but there seems to be no apps available yet so watch this space.