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Nokia Gives Carriers a Cut of App Store Sales

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the get-the-new-bill-calculator-app dept.

Businesses 13

Robbie B writes "Nokia mobile users will be able to pay for apps from the Ovi App Store on their mobile phone bill. Nokia is working on billing relationships with mobile operators around the globe, according to the story. Nokia developers will subsequently have to share their spoils with mobile operators should consumers choose mobile phone billing over the credit card option. That aside, the terms and conditions of the app store look to be quite fair — more in the style of Apple and Android (no fees for each app or update uploaded) than the terms of Windows Mobile Marketplace or Blackberry App World."

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13 comments

I'd rather use a FreeRunner (3, Interesting)

levell (538346) | more than 5 years ago | (#27762109)

I think I'll stick to using my repositories for my OpenMoko [opkg.org] and opkg.org [opkg.org] . The software for the Freerunner has improved a lot recently (admittedly from a very low base).

When OM cancelled ("postponed") the GTA03 and laid off a number of clever, hard-working hackers I figured that it was the end of the company but despite my pessimism, the latest revision of the phone comes with the hardware fixes and the newest release of the operating system (OM2009) is shaping up to be pretty good.

A "cut?" Didn't Tony Soprano call it . . . (3, Insightful)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 5 years ago | (#27762293)

A "taste?"

And in "The Godfather," they called it "a piece of the action."

My, how mobile manufacturers and service providers tend to adopt the behavior of TV gangsters!

Isn't that cute? I personally don't like to idea of hardware manufacturers and service providers getting too cosy with each other. It's too much of an opportunity for them to take the subscribers "for a ride."

Want to marry a cool Apple iPhone? Meet the ugly cousin, that comes along with the pre-nuptials deal, AT&T.

Re:A "cut?" Didn't Tony Soprano call it . . . (1)

Nerdposeur (910128) | more than 5 years ago | (#27763331)

I personally don't like to idea of hardware manufacturers and service providers getting too cosy with each other. It's too much of an opportunity for them to take the subscribers "for a ride."

I don't like it either. Seems like if you make a good phone or offer good service, you should be able to sell it without cutting "exclusive" deals that limit customer choice.

Re:A "cut?" Didn't Tony Soprano call it . . . (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 5 years ago | (#27764207)

I personally don't like to idea of hardware manufacturers and service providers getting too cosy with each other. It's too much of an opportunity for them to take the subscribers "for a ride."

I don't like it either. Seems like if you make a good phone or offer good service, you should be able to sell it without cutting "exclusive" deals that limit customer choice.

Unfortunately, that's how it happens for most phones. You see, for a phone to be sold by a carrier (at the carrier's store, etc), it has to be "certified", which means it passes a bunch of carrier requirements. Some things are helpful, like setting the APN/username/password, but others are detrimental (e.g., no call timers, no access to photos via USB, etc), and others are strange (the "send" button must be this shade of green).

And each carrier is different.

It's a little better if you have a GSM phone, and can buy it "direct" without carrier branding/marking/etc, in which case it's unlocked and you get all the features as they were originally intended. It's also what made the iPhone's "We'll do the software" agreement somewhat strange in that the carrier is giving up control of the software. Of course, that's not to say they don't have a say, there are carrier bundles in the iPhone that contain configuration data, but still, letting the phone manufacturer do the software without any "branding" is quite unusual.

Everyone is "giving in" to the carriers, be it Nokia, Sony Ericcson, Palm, etc., even Apple a little. (iPhone software is unusual in that it's more or less one software for everyone - all the carrier phones I've seen had carrier-specific builds).

Re:A "cut?" Didn't Tony Soprano call it . . . (1)

eugene ts wong (231154) | more than 5 years ago | (#27773951)

others are detrimental (e.g., no call timers, no access to photos via USB, etc)

I don't understand what you mean by that. Could you elaborate? Are you saying that carriers [e.g. AT&T] won't let you make use of the USB features?

Wow 3 comments in almost 2 hours (2, Insightful)

thammoud (193905) | more than 5 years ago | (#27763335)

How the mighty has fallen. Nokia, I have news for you. It is the software. Yours stink. Your OS is very difficult to develop for. You have many hardware models that developers will have to contend with. Keep on making great phones for the lower end. Most of your smart phones will fail to attract a serious number of developers.

Re:Wow 3 comments in almost 2 hours (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27772521)

That's funny because Nokia is still the top smartphone seller.

Re:Wow 3 comments in almost 2 hours (1)

eugene ts wong (231154) | more than 5 years ago | (#27773885)

I bought a Nokia N96 from China, because I was there at that the time. It turned out to be a waste of money. I'm quite certain that I got the real deal, too. I've read about the fakes, and even asked an official Nokia store, in another city. They said that the N-series phones don't have wifi.

Also, I'm pretty disappointed in the UI.

As if that isn't enough, the phone doesn't connect well with my Vista laptop anymore. It's silly. I think that it got it's problems when I upgraded the firmware, which really bugs me.

Re:Wow 3 comments in almost 2 hours (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27808471)

the prc gov don't allow wifi on phones sold in mainland china. I assume you meant mainland china, rather than hong kong, macau, or taiwan.

It's a little unfair to blame nokia for your lack of research. It wouldn't matter what phone you get.

You should have got it in hong kong since wifi is allowed there. Actually, I'll bet if you flash your n96 with the hk model's product code, then upgrade the firmware, the wifi will suddenly start working. Maybe...I know mainland china has a different model for the 5800 so perhaps it's different h/w for the n96 too.

Re:Wow 3 comments in almost 2 hours (1)

eugene ts wong (231154) | more than 5 years ago | (#27902939)

Yes, I did mean mainland China, and not Hong Kong, Macau, or Taiwan.

My friend & his friend showed me their phones, and they had wifi. I'd be surprised if they got it from outside of mainland China. Maybe they got an import or something like that.

I don't know how to flash my N96 with the HK model's product code. I don't know at all how to flash a device.

Re:Wow 3 comments in almost 2 hours (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27808755)

i'm not sure what you're talking about since nokia use at least 3 oses on their mobiles - s40, symbian/s60 and linux are the ones that come immediately to mind. note that the ovi store will sell applications and content for all these platforms. note also that the ovi store will sell content too, so that doesn't require any programming at all.

assuming you're talking about s60, i don't know why you would think it's particularly difficult. you can choose any one of a variety of programming languages, including open c, open c++, python, flash, web widgets, and there're probably some i've forgotten. of course you're probably referring to symbian c++. there's nothing that difficult with that - not if you take the time to learn the recommended practices.
are you afraid of learning, or is it just that you are fooled into thinking you should already know it because it has 'c++' in the name? if so, it seems you're gonna get a big shock in your career - somethings are different and you will often have to learn new things as you go through you career. get used to it. i was shown some iphone code the order day....didn't look much like C to me...then there's android...java, mostly, but not quite standard. and those platforms don't give you much (any?) choice. ever touched qt/c++ - different again, if you do it properly.

i've done my fair share of symbian c++ programming on s60. i didn't find it so hard to learn. i'm quite surprised about the claims that it's hard. it's not. it's just different and the complainers are lazy whiners, imo.

and the issue of many phone models i found to be a load of crap too....i had to write two versions....one for s60 2nd and one for s60 3rd (i've not dealt with 5th yet). i had a couple of os-specific issues, but nothing i couldn't handle. nokia even have a lab of phone you can test on remotely...for free too. they will also loan you a phone for a month for a reasonale fee.

anyway, 'nice platforms' don't attract developers....money does. i would have thought that the huge number of existing s40, s60 users alone would be enough to attract those with business sense, but when combined with ovi's single sales channel and operator billing it is a 'slam dunk'.

This is a net neutrality problem (1)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 5 years ago | (#27764779)

What's to stop the carrier from then making sure the phone no longer has access to any app store that doesn't give the carrier a cut?

This kind of thing should be strongly discouraged as it greatly encourages discriminatory behavior by the carriers.

Ovi will cost devs $100's per app to upload! (1)

bukuman (1129741) | more than 5 years ago | (#27765109)

"(no fees for each app or update uploaded)" - not so as far as I know.

Ovi is requiring each app be "Java Verified" ( http://www.javaverified.com/ [javaverified.com] ), which requires third party testing on each 'class' of phone at a cost to the developer of around $150. So if you wanted to cover all Nokia's models it will cost you more than $1000 per app to get it certified as 'uploadable' (I cannot figure out exactly how many 'classes' / 'lead devices' there are). Any change or update to the app requires re certification.

You can check out how happy everyone is here: http://discussion.forum.nokia.com/forum/showthread.php?t=161596 [nokia.com]

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