Lance Whitney, CNET
November 18, 2010
Nokia's Ovi Store has officially hit 3 million downloads per day.
The Finnish mobile phone maker attributed the new milestone to higher global demand for its apps and new smartphones sporting the more user-friendly Symbian 3 operating system.
In late September, Nokia began shipping its N8 smartphone, its first to run under Symbian 3, followed a couple of weeks later by the second Symbian 3 phone, the C7. The new version of Symbian has brought with it a greater variety of new apps in the Ovi Store.
Nokia has also been working hard to lure in more developers. In September, the company launched a new contest offering app developers a total of $10 million in cash and prizes. It also said recently that it would focus solely on Qt as its mobile development platform, helping developers by ensuring that their apps would run under future versions of both Symbian and MeeGo.
Over the past year, more than 400,000 new developers have joined Forum Nokia, the company's development community, Nokia said. Among all its developers, 92 have each grabbed more than 1 million downloads for their apps so far. Further, Nokia has seen 1.5 million downloads of its Qt development toolkits.
"Ovi Store is on a strong trajectory fueled by new apps and games from a growing number of partners and more than 250,000 new consumers signing up for Ovi every day," Tero Ojanpera, executive vice president of services for Nokia, said in a statement. "The number of daily downloads has increased from about 2 million to 3 million since September. We anticipate our progress will continue as we have just begun shipping our new Symbian smartphones."
Since the September 30 release of the N8, the top downloaded free app in the Ovi Store was Q Torch, which turns a phone into a flashlight, Nokia said. Among paid software, the top app was Angry Birds, a game that's taken off on several mobile platforms. Another hot app among Nokia consumers was Need for Speed Shift HD, the third most popular downloaded program around the world since September.
Despite the healthy growth of the Ovi Store, Nokia still faces a variety of challenges overall. The company holds a leading smartphone market share across the world, but that dominance has been chipped away by Google's Android and other rivals. Nokia is also struggling to make more of a dent in North America, where it holds only around 3 percent of the market.