I received an email this morning from the people running Nokia’s PR in Montreal about Nokia’s new Ovi App Wizard. Ovi, if you didn’t know, is Nokia’s answer to Apple’s insanely successful App Store. Unfortunately for Nokia, getting developers to make apps for the fragmented mess that is Nokia’s current phone offerings has been unsurprisingly difficult, while competitors like Apple boast upwards 200,000 applications.
The Ovi App Wizard is unfortunately way too little, way too late.
Simply put, the Ovi App Wizard lets any Joe Blow make their own App in a few minutes – literally. All you need is a blog, twitter or YouTube feed and some basic image editing skills to create the appropriate app icons and Nokia does the rest, allowing you to insert mobile ads and charge for the app along the way. I had mine done in about 10 minutes. No word yet on how long it takes for apps to get approved,, but I’ll update this blog when I get word on my app, which is nothing more than this blog’s RSS feed in makeup. Basically, it’s a free version of what iSites does, which creates apps for you for the iPhone or Android for about $25.
The App Wizard highlights the horrible reality for Nokia: Developers aren’t buying in to their app store, forcing them to rely on this to bring up the number of apps available and fudge the numbers. Make no mistake, Nokia is stuck between a rock Apple’s iPhone and a hard place Google’s Android and recent sales numbers have highlighted Nokia’s uphill battle in the smartphone market.
Further complicating the matter of making apps for Nokia phones is their dual-OS strategy. Nokia is selling smartphones with either the Symbian^3 or Maemo OS, a strategy that is completely nuts. Nokia is even behind Palm when it comes to mobile strategy, a company that would be dead right now if not for HP’s recent purchase. Nokia needs to come up with a new game plan – and fast – if it wants to have any chance of becoming relevant in the smartphone wars. If it were up to me, I’d blow up the current plan and jump on the Android bandwagon before it’s too late.