Nokia’s much-anticipated launch yesterday of its online software and content store, Ovi Store, has been overshadowed by technical problems. In a blog posting yesterday, Eric John, Nokia’s head of product marketing for the store, apologised for the problems, admitting that “shortly after launching the Ovi Store at 2 am ET, we began experiencing extraordinarily high spikes of traffic that resulted in some performance issues for users accessing store.ovi.com and store.ovi.mobi. We immediately began to address this issue by adding servers, which resulted in intermittent performance improvements.” However, attempts by Mobile Business Briefing to access www.ovi.com this morning (GMT) demonstrated that problems are ongoing, as the site’s homepage stated the following comment: “We’re sorry, Ovi.com is unavailable at the moment. We’re doing some essential maintenance, and will be back very soon.” In his blog, Nokia’s John maintained that the Ovi Store device client has been unaffected by any problems.
The store is deemed crucial to Nokia’s efforts to ramp up its Internet services strategy as the handset market takes a hit from the global economic downturn. Nokia is taking on Apple in the application store marketplace, hoping to repeat Apple’s success; Apple’s App Store currently offers 40,000 apps and has recently hit the 1 billion download milestone. Early signs are that Nokia has much work to be done. TechCrunch’s Robin Wauters, who reported slow load times and complete outages yesterday, characterised the Ovi Store launch as an “utter disaster.”