Nokia desperate to find apps and developers for OVI
As some of you may know, I run a one-man show company developing iPhone applications. I started Bitsmedia in Singapore less than a year ago and have since been focusing my efforts on delivering quality applications to enterprise clients.
About 6 months ago, I received the first of what was going to become a long list of phone calls from the Forum Nokia team in India. They basically seem to be approaching every company in the world doing iPhone applications and begging them (including myself) to port our applications to Symbian and distribute them on OVI. I mean, even Microsoft, who has not been at their best lately as far as mobile platforms are concerned don’t beg you to “please develop apps for Windows Mobile, we need your help so bad!!”. Microsoft actually has a great team of evangelists doing a fantastic work (through, among others, their Bizspark initiative) to reach out to developers and introduce their technologies, training schemes, etc…
As a one-man show, you probably understand that focusing on iPhone apps keeps me pretty busy. I do have a strong interest in Android though and I am slowly trying to ramp up on a platform which I believe will end up dominating the mobile industry (that’s my bet at least). However, I made it very clear to Nokia, from the day of that very first call, that Bitsmedia (my small tiny company) had no plans to go Symbian. Well, believe it or not but the exact same guy from their India based call center, has been calling me about 4 to 5 times to try and convince me by throwing free OVI memberships, then free training, etc…. His last call last month ended up on a firm note of irritation to stop “spamming” me.
Well you guessed it. I just received another phone call today from “Forum Nokia India” who understands that Bitsmedia only focuses on iPhone and potentially Android apps (sure they understand after 5 calls) but this time they would like to invite me to the launch of their Nokia N900 device and Naemo platform in Malaysia. And guess what, every single invitee will get a “one-year subscription to forum Nokia”, “free training”, … AND A FREE N900 DEVICE !! (which you may have to return if you do not develop and submit apps to OVI by May 15th !!!). I don’t think Google put conditions on those Nexus One they gave away to bloggers, did they?
So yes I did reject the invitation (and the N900 as well of course) and I am really starting to believe that this sudden and aggressive hunting for developers seems to illustrate and confirm the growing lack of interest that Nokia is suffering from in this new mobile environment that Apple, the iPhone and the AppStore have revolutionized over the past 2 years.