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Nokia Hangs Ovi Store Shingle

Espoo, Finland — Nokia opened its own application store, enabling owners of select feature phones and smartphones to access over-the-air downloads of free and paid applications, including productivity tools, games, videos, podcasts, location-based services, ringtones and wallpapers.

The store is accessible in the U.S. from select Nokia-brand unlocked-GSM phones, with purchases credited to the user’s credit card, but AT&T plans to make the Ovi Store available on AT&T-locked phones sometime later this year with billing through AT&T, Nokia said. The store can be accessed by using a phone’s browser to visit or by downloading a stand-alone Ovi application.

 The grand opening follows the opening of mobile-phone app stores by Apple and Research in Motion and Microsoft’s announcement that it plans a mobile-phone app store.

“Thousands of the content industry’s biggest names along with independent application developers” are selling media, applications and games through Ovi Store, Nokia claimed.

Around the world, the Ovi Store by Nokia is available to an estimated 50 million Nokia device owners across more than 50 Nokia devices. In nine countries, applications can be billed by carriers.

Details on AT&T’s plans were unavailable.