Despite reporting a hefty drop in sales because of stiff competition in the smartphone market, Nokia is still the world’s largest cellphone maker by volume.
With more than a third of cell phones in the world being Nokia and a sizable chunk of those units being enabled for mobile internet, it would stand to reason that there could still be a huge audience for blogs that remains untapped.
But downloading blogs on what is essentially still a cellphone could lead to a number of frustrating consequences. With either the phone’s browser failing to download the site correctly or not being able to download the site in a readable form.
The solution to tapping this roaming audience of mobile internet users is to create a mobile app.
Of course, that’s actually easier said than done especially when you consider what platform you are going to use and all the other technical issues that come with it. Then again, if all you want to do is to make your blog or site content available to people who browse using handheld internet browsing devices, you might want to look at Ovi App.
Nokia launched the Ovi App Wizard recently and the great thing about it is that you really don’t have to have a lot of technical know-how to create your own app from your blog or site’s RSS feed.
The claim that appears on the landing page of the Ovi App Wizard says it all: “In just a few minutes, you can bundle web content into a convenient and accessible mobile application to extend your brand to new markets, build market share, and even monetize your content.”
Creating an Ovi App Step by step:
Now, as far as wizards go, this one doesn’t warn you at the start that you have to have an Ovi User Account and it would actually be better if you created one first before using the Ovi App Wizard.
After you’ve done that, the first thing you ought to do is to sign in on the Ovi App Wizard Page and then click on Get Started. This will bring you to the second page where you’ll be asked to provide your blog or site’s RSS and click preview.
You can add up to three more RSS feeds if you like and if you like what you see in the preview, you can go to the next step.
In Step Two, you’ll be asked to customize the look of your app by providing an icon, selecting a background color for your icon, and decide on the color of your links.
In Step Three, you’ll be asked if you would like to have advertising on your app.
In Step Four, you’ll be asked for a description for an App description for Ovi Store, keywords, Publisher description for Ovi Store, a publisher logo, select an app category, toggle on an app distribution option, and select a price point.
After that, all you’ll have to do is to click finish and Ovi will send you a confirmation e-mail with a validation link. You click the validation link and log on to your Ovi dashboard, which will then prompt you a final time to confirm your app for submission to Ovi.
Now, as far as wizards are concerned, this one is pretty simple and easy to use. Configuring your app’s look as well as supplying the necessary descriptions isn’t at all tedious or confounding.
However what really weighs on my mind at this point is the fact that Ovi has never been the prettiest girl in the room in the world of mobile apps. Whether there will be a more aggressive campaign to market Ovi mobile apps remains to be seen.
So, even granting that a third of the world’s mobile phones are Nokia, there is no strong indication that people with Nokia phones will actually go and shop around the Ovi Store. What this means, in a practical sense, is that those who submit apps will basically have to market their apps all by their lonesome.
Of course, that is not at all to discount the effect of the “free” marketing ploy or the effect of its monetization option. This hinges on how fast the number of people creating Ovi Apps will rise and whether it will keep on rising.
Moreover,in the next couple of months Nokia EVP and Chief Marketing Officer, Jerri DeVard, sounded off that Ovi will be rebranded as Nokia services. The transition is expected to play out until 2012. DeVard says Ovi services will simply be rebranded as Nokia and assures that there will be no disruption of services.
So, perhaps, people creating an Ovi App will be better advised to see how the re-branding from Ovi App to Nokia App will fly or fall in the next few months. And since Ovi’s growth in a way depends on the growth of Nokia phone sales, it would also be worth looking into news about whether the cellular phone giant will actually post a recovery from its recent sales slump.
Paul Farol is a Filipino writer and blogger currently based in Manila. He is currently a media practitioner and is involved in community development projects in Northern and Southern Luzon, Philippines.