Blog Post

Ovi & Nokia's Future is in the Developing World

Stay on Top of Enterprise Technology Trends

Get updates impacting your industry from our GigaOm Research Community
Join the Community!

nokian97.jpgNokia (s nok) said today that more than a million users have signed up for its free mobile- and web-based email service, Ovi Mail, over the last six months. Designed for those without access to a PC, notably residents of developing countries, this uptake makes clear the increasing importance of mobile phones when it comes to accessing the web. The victory for Nokia, unfortunately, is somewhat bittersweet.

As Stacey has written, the future of the Internet looks increasingly mobile as three-quarters of the population will have access to mobile broadband in less than four years. Both Vodafone and Google (s goog) see mobile phones as a gateway to get more people from developing regions on the web. In June, Google released three SMS-based mobile applications in Africa that allow people to access web information on their phones.

But the developing world’s love affair with Nokia’s cheap mobile phones and free Ovi email service hasn’t translated into high margins for the handset maker. While sales of its lower-end mobile phones continue to soar worldwide, Nokia’s smartphone sales lag behind — as do its profits. Until Nokia finds a way to boost its smartphone sales, high sales of its cheap mobile phones won’t be enough to pull the handset maker out of its financial slump.

6 Responses to “Ovi & Nokia's Future is in the Developing World”

  1. Over at, I’ve blogged about several ways Nokia can improve the Ovi store experience. Its all about how Nokia can work with Symbian Developers to ensure that their apps are showcased in the Ovi store the right way. Many developers are not happy with the way Nokia has handled the DRM issues and because of this many leading publishers have decided to hold off on releasing their apps in Ovi yet.