I'm going to an Ovi App Store presentation today in the Silicon Valley. I'm hoping to learn more about the program; how it will work for developers, what the store will look like for users on different devices, timeline for rollout, etc.
What I've heard:
- Both free and paid apps will be accepted
- Initially the store will be available on the N97 only, eventually it will be extended to most S60 and S40 devices.
- Users can pay with a credit card or through their phone bill or prepaid balance with participating operators
- All apps must be approved by Nokia, I don't know what the criteria are for approval
- 70%/30% revenue - 70% of the sale price, after credit card and operator fees, goes to the developer.
- The store supports Native Symbian, Java ME, Flash and Web Runtime apps plus ringtones.
- To be accepted all content must be signed and must not display any security related warnings during installation.
I'm especially interested in learning about the signing and certification requirements of the Ovi store. From what I've seen in Forum Nokia discussions it looks like S60 native and Flash apps will need to be Symbian Express signed at a minimum and Java ME apps will need to be Java Verified.
I'm surprised at these signing requirements as they impose much greater financial and bureaucratic costs on developers than the iPhone, Android and BlackBerry app stores where you just need to join the respective developer program for less than $100/year and then all testing and certification are free.
I plan on asking Nokia how they expect to compete for developer mind share and participation with a certification and signing model that is so much more expensive than the app stores of competing platforms.
If you have any questions about the Ovi store leave a comment and I'll pass them on to Nokia today.