The world's top cell phone maker Nokia unveiled on Monday the Ovi Store, a new online software and media store, hoping to follow the runaway success of Apple's App Store.
Nokia unveiled the store at a developer conference on the sidelines of Mobile World Congress trade fair in Barcelona.
The Ovi Store is the first content and application store that personalizes content according to a person's social connections and physical location, or what Nokia calls 'Social Location'.
The Ovi Store provides developers with a dynamic opportunity to offer Nokia's global consumer base new applications. Content providers will be able to get their work into the store via a single channel, Publish.Ovi.com, which will be open for content from February 16.
Also at the fair, Nokia said that its first model to ship with access to the store would be its new flagship phone N97.
Microsoft is also planning an "online bazaar" for applications running on its Windows Mobile operating system. Blackberry-maker Research in Motion said last year it plans to launch its app store early this year.
Nokia also made it easier to get email on your phone with the launch of the Nokia E75 and Nokia E55, which open up access to the world's email inboxes and feature Nokia's most advanced email solutions to date.
The Nokia E75 boast full desktop email functionality with a slide out QWERTY keyboard and simple three-step email setup and is the first device to ship with Nokia Messaging, a service that opens up the leading consumer email accounts including Yahoo, Gmail and Hotmail. Direct access to over 90 percent of corporate inboxes is also possible with Mail for Exchange and IBM Lotus Notes Traveler. Making messaging as compact as possible, the Nokia E55 comes with a new compact QWERTY keyboard and has a standby time of nearly a month, as well as all of the features one expects from a high end smartphone.
The Nokia E75 is expected to ship in March at an estimated retail price of 375 EUR, before taxes and subsidies. The Nokia E55 is expected to ship in the second quarter at an estimated retail price will be 265 EUR, before taxes and subsidies.
Additionally, Nokia introduced the latest arrival in its Navigator mid-range line, the Nokia 6710 Navigator, and the Nokia 6720 classic.
The Nokia 6710 Navigator provides everything one would expect from a stand alone GPS device, with all the benefits of a converged mobile device. The solution provided by the new Navigator includes real time 'drive and walk' navigation, full regional maps, and hardware elements like a dedicated navigator key, touch area for zooming and a large display. The recent integration of Maps with Ovi allows people to pre-plan their journey at home on their PC and synchronize with their mobile device. Additionally, Maps has been updated to include a number of new features such as high-resolution aerial images, 3D landmarks for over 200 cities, terrain maps, weather service, premium travel and events content and traffic and safety warnings. With both of the new devices including a compass, working in conjunction with the new features of Maps, the pedestrian navigation experience has been significantly improved. Thenew phone also comes equipped with a 5 megapixel camera, standard with Carl Zeiss optics and dual LED flash.
Another new arrival is the Nokia 6720 classic, which offers a great voice experience with new active noise cancellation and a form factor that fits to your face. The phone also has a 5 megapixel camera, high speed uplink and downlink Internet access and a TV-out connection for sharing images and video.
The Nokia 6720 classic is expected to begin shipping in the second quarter of 2009 at an estimated retail price of 245 EUR before taxes and subsidies. The Nokia 6710 Navigator will join in the third quarter with an estimated retail price of 300 EUR, before taxes and subsidies.