Ovi Store, Finnish mobile phone handset major Nokia’s online store of mobile applications, would be rebranded as Nokia Services over the next 18 months.
Handsets which are expected to hit stores by end-2011 would come with the new Nokia Services software, while existing handset users would be asked to upgrade their software, which, after it is done, will show the new icon replacing the existing Ovi icon, Nokia India marketing director Viral Oza said.
“As you can imagine, this is not an easy transition. When we are talking of rebranding of this scale, there are lots of touch points and not only advertising or print materials but a host of things like online and on-the-device icons.
“So, there are lots of touch points to be changed. On the outside it will take 18 months starting July. We are, however, trying to do it faster. So by end of next year, the transition would certainly be complete,” Oza said.
Though initially panned by critics for being perceived as a knee-jerk reaction to Apple’s apps store and iTunes, by 2011 an average of five million applications were being downloaded worldwide everyday, making Ovi a top-of-the-mind brand in the mobile space.
But, in middle of May, Nokia made an announcement that its Ovi would be rebranded as Nokia Services.
“Nokia as a master brand has been extremely powerful. Over the past few years we ensured that the services that we have are tightly integrated with the device. So in that sense to simplify our architecture and maximise the Nokia brand we have decided to re-brand Ovi Store as Nokia Services,” Oza said.