Since we heard that Nokia was jumping into bed with Microsoft and Windows Phone, we knew there was always going to be change. Last month we heard of the loss of 4 000 jobs and now the Finnish company is planning on dumping the Ovi branding.
In a statement on its blog, Nokia said it was getting rid of the Ovi branding in a bid to “leverage the high-value of the Nokia master brand to better support future plans to deliver disruptive and compelling mobile experiences globally.” Nokia launched the Ovi store in 2007 in what most people saw as a reactionary response to Apple’s App Store following the launch of the iPhone. However currently there are around five million products downloaded per day from the Ovi store. The only change in the service would be in the name and branding, all other features would remain intact.
With the move to the Windows Phone operating system in the next six months or so, keeping the standalone Ovi store was never going to be a viable proposition. While Symbian is an OS which is all but dead, there is a huge user base of Symbian devices out there and as a result Nokia said it will continue to support the platform. The roll out of the new branding will begin in July with phones featuring the new branding shipping later in the year. The update is expected to be complete by the end of 2012.
It would seem to make sense if at all possible to have one app store to serve both the new Windows Phone handsets and the Symbian handsets if possible and this could be the first step in that direction.