Nokia’s Ovi App Store Launch “A Disaster”

nokia_ovi_46.jpgNokia’s much anticipated foray into online application distribution came off like a stinkbomb Tuesday, according to a report at TechCrunch.

The Finnish handset maker is hoping to catch up to the trend in centralized online distribution of mobile software and other products pioneered nearly a year ago by Apple’s iTunes App Store for its iPhone and iPod Touch mobile devices.

In the first 12 hours since launching the store has been largely inaccessible, pages have loaded slowly or not at all, applications disappeared from the store, returned no results on search, or in some cases were listed in duplicate.

“The user experience sucks too,” according to the report. “Navigating the online store is downright complicated, and the categories being assigned to certain applications and content are way off at times. Entering basic search queries (e.g. ‘games’) often leads to zero results or a freezing page. Publisher profiles sometimes have nothing but a poorly embedded logo, an extremely short description and no link to their own website.”

All About Symbian recounts additional problems, and attempts to access the store at press time would indicate that, at best, Nokia’s servers are woefully underpowered for the task at hand.

The Ovi team issued the following statement addressing the problems Tuesday morning:

“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 and We immediately began to address this issue by adding servers, which resulted in intermittent performance improvements.”

One would assume that Nokia will get things sorted out in time, but the curtain on Tuesday’s launch definitely went up before the production was ready for a public performance and will long stand as a black eye to the reputation of the highly regarded handset maker.