Personal Tech

May 29, 2009, 5:34 am

Nokia’s App Store Launches With a Hiccup


Nokia employees hustled to correct problems with its new Ovi store–Nokia’s app shop that’s similar to the Apple iTunes App store, Blackberry App World, and the Android Market.

Shortly after opening the store at 2 a.m. on May 26, the company reported a spike in traffic that lead to “performance issues.”

Online commenters were a bit less delicate in their language, reporting problems like pending charges for apps they didn’t receive as well as an inability to get on the site at all.

The company’s Ovi store blog reported that the employees worked nonstop to increase server capacity.

“That’s all fairly well resolved,” said a Nokia spokesman.

Ovi, which is Nokia’s umbrella brand name for services, also got a bit of a black eye last February when a problem with its Beta test of a Web backup-and-sharing service called Contacts caused some users to lose weeks worth of addresses and photos.

The Ovi store opening was an ambitious undertaking, rolling out in simultaneously in English, German, Italian, Russian, and Spanish and supporting 50 different models of phones which are in the hands of about 50 million customers, said the company. Nokia said that there more than a billion Nokia phones in service around the world.

How big a stumble the Ovi app-store glitches will be remains to be seen. If the company’s numbers are correct, only 5 percent of the store’s users could have been exposed to the glitch, and certainly not all of them have rushed to the Ovi store immediately.

Those who can use the Ovi store will find it similar to other app stores, with a few familiar offerings, like AP News, Fring and Trapster. The site isn’t easy to navigate, and the search function isn’t reliable yet (it was unable to find apps that were pictured on the start page). “That will get sharper with time,” said a Nokia spokesman.

In addition to apps, the Ovi store sells content, such as ring tones and music videos.

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