Finally, we have a distribution mechanism for S60 applications. Despite all the problems with developing for S60 -- the steep learning curve, the painful testing procedure, the complex UIs -- the primary barrier to releasing an S60 product has always been the same. How do we sell the thing?! The success of the App Store is purely driven by the ease of distribution1, allowing a developer to ship applications around the world at the touch of a button. Prior to OVI, the only way to sell an app on S60 was to either do it yourself (painful and expensive), use Handango (which takes a 50% revenue share!), or talk to an operator (requires the patience of Job).
Obviously it is going to be harder to develop an S60 application than an iPhone one. But the S60 platform is so much more capable than the iPhone that we can hope to see seriously innovative applications out there. Admittedly these will be priced at a premium level. But quality applications will drive a market, and increase the popularity of the S60 platform. It will be interesting to see whether an S60 phone becomes a status symbol in the same way that iPhone has done - and whether the applications you have on your idle screen become as telling as they do on iPhone!
Time will tell. Airsource will certainly be watching OVI with interest.
Let's be clear what we mean here. Distribution is not the same as Marketing. You still need to market your applications, no matter how you sell them. ↩