14 Oct 2009 13:45

Chinese version of Nokia's Ovi Store to start beta testing phase

Shanghai. October 14. INTERFAX-CHINA - Handset giant Nokia will conduct beta testing on the Chinese version of its Ovi Store at the end of October, which has a projected 2010 official launch date in mainland China, a Nokia employee told Interfax on Oct.14.

"Nokia will conduct the trial launch as part of its beta testing of the Chinese Ovi Store on Nokia's existing online application store Web site, store.ovi.com. Access software to the Chinese Ovi Store will be preinstalled onto two new Nokia handsets, the N97 and N97 Mini," Viola Wang, an employee with Nokia's public relations department, said.

Wang said that Nokia expects to officially launch the online store in mainland China in 2010, at which time it will be accessible from Nokia handsets, although she declined to reveal a specific launch date.

"We may also cooperate with China Mobile to combine the Chinese version of Ovi Store with the operator's Mobile Market online application store," Wang said.

According to Wang, it is possible that an agreement will be made allowing the pre-installation of Ovi store access software on all China Mobile handsets.

The Chinese Ovi Store will initially carry a number of free applications currently offered on the Ovi Store's global site. After the official launch next year, Nokia will begin charging users for some applications.

Nokia is currently in the process of deploying a billing system in preparation for the official launch, according to Wang.