Summary:

At Mobile World Congress, where the ham is salted and the food mostly in bite-sized tapas, I got to dive in deep with Nokia’s VP of Product…

imageAt Mobile World Congress, where the ham is salted and the food mostly in bite-sized tapas, I got to dive in deep with Nokia’s VP of Product Development for Media George Linardos, on the just-announced Ovi Store, which will serve as the app-distribution mechanism for developers on Nokia (NYSE: NOK) phones. Linardos, whose background includes working in the entertainment industry in Los Angeles, said he was the one who “lit a lot of things on fire” to make the Ovi Store happen. “A lot of things that happen in technology don’t make a lot of sense to me. I see the opportunity for mobile content to go mainstream as a kind of media form.”

More after the jump

Briefly, what you need know is that the Ovi Store aspires to be like the Apple’s App store, however, is advancing the concept in a number of ways. For instance, the store will recommend applications to users based on their interests, what their friends are downloading and where you are. Also different is that the Ovi Store will either sell apps to you through the carrier’s billing mechanism or a credit card (vs. Apple (NSDQ: AAPL), which uses iTunes, and BlackBerry, which will use PayPal and Google (NSDQ: GOOG), which uses Google Check-out). Here’s an edited down version of my conversation with Linardos:

Did you want to do the App Store because of Apple? “No. We actually started this before that..We did it because Nokia has invested so heavily in building a phone out, but you really have to marry it with the right services. The thing that

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