Nokia just launched its Ovi cellphone App Store globally, but rather than the fanfare-laden success it should've been, the launch was marred by site crashes and server lock-ups.
The Ovi App service launched over the weekend in a few countries around the World, and today is the big launch event for the store globally. According to the Finnish cellphone giant, the store is accessible to over 50 million Nokia handset users across the world, and is compatible with more than 50 cellphones—including the upcoming N97 smartphone. It looks like there are some 1,200 apps in total for the "all phones" category within the Store, and they're broken down in to the usual games/applications/personalization sub-categories.
Nokia just didn't have the infrastructure in place to properly support the store's launch event. Numerous online sources cited that the site was down or broken, with apps appearing and disappearing and with login difficulties for customers who already have an Ovi account.
Nokia responded to TechCrunch: "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. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused Ovi Store users and encourage you to continue giving us feedback as we develop the service further."
That's basically an admission that they weren't properly prepared for the launch event. How could the number one cellphone manufacturer not expect a rush to its Web site? Whether that bodes well for the future of the site or not is unclear. But since it's clearly designed to tackle the success of Apple's iTunes App Store, it's a pretty embarrassing slip-up from the start and something that should be fixed when it launches in the U.S. for AT&T customers later in the year.