Caroline Gabriel/Rethink Wireless
21 Jan 2011
Every time Nokia watchers get downhearted at yet another setback in the US, something happens to remind us that the company's real opportunities lie elsewhere, notably in the emerging markets.
The polarizing regional contrast in Nokia's fortunes could not have been highlighted more brightly than it was this week - the cancellation of the X7 launch with AT&T, which could have been a US turning point, followed by the news that in China, its Ovi Store has a huge 65% market share, almost seven times that of the Apple App Store.
The ubiquity of Nokia handsets in China, and the huge efforts it has put into regional content and into ease of use for first-time phone owners, all explain the results - and the lead may well come under pressure as 3G smartphones become more common.
For now, though, Ovi Store beats even the highly localized China Mobile MMarket storefront, according to surveys by China's IResearch.
The operator's store is accessed by almost 58% of mobile subscribers. It spans multiple operating systems and also some feature phones, although Mobile's software strategy for 3G has been weighted towards its own implementation of Android.
Despite the heavy promotion of Android handsets by all three carriers, and of the iPhone by China Unicom, Android Market and App Store are so far making limited impact, with 13.7% and 9.4% respectively.