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What iPhone can teach Nokia

Developers flock to iPhone, iPhone software sales booming. The banking crisis doesn’t affect them. And Nokia-Symbian application market been lukewarm at best. On the N-Gage front 400 thousands registered n-gage users doesn’t look impressive, considering only about 30% downloads convert to sales (which is rather good conversion rate).
So what can Nokia do to make situation better ?
The main problems for Nokia-Symbian application market are
1. Platform fragmentation.
2. Exhausting (and expensive sometimes) process of Symbain signing.
3. Even more difficult n-gage certification process:
“I think it’s easier to get an audience with the Pope than it is to get a game through certification at Nokia.” – and that is Electronic Arts Mobile Peter Parmenter speaking.
4. No single point of sale. N-Gage, Nokia Software Market, third party application shops, all with different certifications, policies, requirements.
5. Everything expensive. Professional tools are expensive, private API expensive, signing expensive, developer have to have several phones for testing which is not cheap. Remote Testing is a step in right direction, but amount of free testing is limited per user.

How the situation could be improved for third party Nokia-Symbian application market?
It obviously can not be made as smooth as iPhone, complexity of Symbian ecosystem is too high, but something could be done.
1. Fragmentation: better documentation and regular updates would definitely help.
2, 3, 5: Bundle everything – certification, tools, access to remote testing, private API into two packages, one entry level, and one professional. Entry level should cost about 100$ and professional no more than 300$. Ditch per-application signing fee.
4. Merge N-Gage and Nokia Software Market into single application store. Give all certified developers access to it.

Here are my musings about the situation. The only thing which keep me form iPhone is lack of official camera API.

2, November, 2008 - Posted by | Mobile | , , ,

1 Comment

  1. […] Rumors about Nokia Symbian OS application store. Engadget report Nokia may opening a software portal for its Symbian OS applications, with a formal announcement to come at the Mobile World Congress. Rumors about Nokia Symbian application store were floating at Nokia developer forum couple of months ago. Actually I also have written about it in this blog post […]

    Pingback by Rumors about Nokia Symbian OS application store. « Mirror Image | 8, February, 2009

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