Nokia Launches 3rd Party App StoreApr 30th, 2009 | By Elisabeth Lewin | Category: iPods & Portable Media Players, Mobile Podcasting, Video
Mobile phone giant Nokia this week announced another round of staff cutbacks, alongside an announcement that it was further opening its technology to mobile application developers.
Another 450 employees of the Finnish company were let go this week, on the heels of layoffs of 1700 staffers in March, and an initial reduction of 320 back in February of this year, according to PC World.
Meanwhile, in more upbeat news, Nokia announced its strategy to reposition its high-end phones, like its just-unveiled N97 touchscreen handsets (pictured at right), to compete head-to-head with the ubiquitous Apple iPhone. The company on April 28 also detailed plans for expanding and streamlining purchase of mobile online software and services.
The company plans a new “App Store,” with better links to its service offerings, and easier customer access with a single sign-in and single billing mechanism.
The company also unveiled an initiative to work with third-party developers to expand Nokia’s offerings of mobile applications. In an upcoming release of their API, Nokia will open up their Ovi Share service, which lets users share content via PCs and mobile phones, to developers. Nokia released technical information for its newest N97 phone at a Nokia event for developers this week.
The best new applications and services developed for the handsets will also be in the running for prize money from Nokia and partner Adobe, which makes the Flash software which runs many of the phone’s applications.
Finally, Nokia also revealed plans to cooperate more closely with social networking sites, photo-sharing sites, and “other outside parties.”
“The world is a mash-up,” Niklas Savander, Nokia executive vice-president for services, was quoted as saying in BusinessWeek. “The consumer at the end is the one who chooses what he or she wants to do.”
If Nokia is using its new app store and third-party developers as a strategy to challenge the Apple iPhone for a larger share of the mobile computing pie, it will likely be an uphill struggle. Nokia makes handsets that are superior in many ways (fantastic 5-Megapixel camera with high-quality Carl Zeiss optics, 16:9 and DVD quality video capture that upload and stream video online, mobile podcasting apps, and 48 GB of storage, including 32 GB of on-board memory), but have yet to capture the mass-market attention of the iPhone.