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5 things Nokia Has To Do To Save OVI

No sooner had Nokia release its OVI online store that all hell broke loose and the Finnish manufacturer suffered some pretty serious PR embarrassments and self-inflicted bruises.

All is not lost though as Nokia can still turn OVI into one monumental success by following and implementing these 5 tips from towers as soon as possible.

(1) Copy Apple's App Store

Analyse and identify what made Apple's App store such a success. All developers working on OVI should be forced to buy an iPhone with their own money and play with the iPhone for several weeks in a row. Until, like Apple, they understand the psyche of a modern smartphone user, they won't be able to make a success out of OVI.

(2) Debut Dedicated OVI Phones/devices

The richness of Nokia offering might actually be its weakness. OVI supports more than 125 mobile phones, all with different capabilities and features. Trying to cover all bases was going to be a bad way to start. OVI would be a great way for Nokia to start OVI capable or OVI compatible devices and mobile phones, which just like netbooks, would have a minimum specification.

That could include having a big touchscreen, HSDPA connectivity, a minimum amount of RAM/storage, S60 platform and accelerometer. Doing so would mean that all users with OVI capable devices would share the same experience. Bear in mind that Apple has achieve its massive success only with the iPhone and the iPod touch.

(3) Make Mobile Networks Your Allies

Nokia is a traditional mobile phone network unlike Apple and with the other carriers currently represent the alternative. With the iPhone, Apple managed to coerce mobile phone carriers into giving up their privileges and acting more like a dumb pipe.

Nokia could work very closely with the network carriers to provide them with a white-label OVI option which would reduce the cost of development and most importantly the all too important TTM (Time to Market).

The Finnish manufacturer could start working with a handful of mobile networks like China Mobile (where the iPhone has yet to be released), Vodafone, Orange, O2, Hutchinson Whampoa and T-Mobile.

(4) Get More Applications, bribe developers

When Google first announced Android, it launched the platform with a competition with a cash pot of $10 million, looking to create the best applications for the mobile ecosystem. The prizes ranged from $25,000 to $275,000.

The key fact to retain is that the developers are the most important aspect of any marketplace. Lower the barriers of entry or entice developers to come in. They could also allow developers to keep a greater share of their profits while making it much more easier to code for the platform.

(5) Make OVI sturdier, simpler to navigate

Right now, OVI is a proper mess to navigate. The current layout as techdigest (opens in new tab) found out, is overcomplicated and difficult to navigate. We found out that OVI doesn't recognise a one-year old Nokia 6220 classic (ed: that's corrected). OVI is currently organised as a directory and like any directories, it is a pain to navigate and to make things really worse, it is a directory for ALL the 125 or so Nokia phones that are compatible with OVI.

And to sum things up, Nokia also desperately need to tie things up. For example, it is embarrassing to hear that they were not prepared to get the amount of traffic that overwhelmed their servers yesterday. A quick look at on Alexa shows that OVI's traffic has been dipping slightly over the last 3 months actually.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.