Recently I was given an iPhone for work. Given that I use an e66 Nokia for my personal stuff I thought I'd compare and contrast the two devices' application stores. Ovi vs iTunes. Clearly the base operating systems are significantly different - Symbian S60 3rd Edition (e66) vs iPhone OS (iPhone (naturally)). Clearly given the differences in the OSes, the iPhone seems to lead itself to better application support. This, plus Apple getting in first, have given the iPhone a significantly better application store, variety and apparent implementation of user provided applications. I'm quite sure that Nokia wanted to get on board with this, but given that Apple got there first I'm not sure they'll catch them. The Ovi store is still developing from what I can tell and the phone based interface to it is not terribly impressive. Taking into account the difference in the user interface (non-touch phone vs touch phone), the iPhone is still better. Navigating the Nokia Ovi menu is poor and at times damn confusing. Tap tap installed - iPhone kicks butt.
The breadth and depth of the available apps is a telling point too - Ovi doesn't have the depth nor the breadth of the iTunes store. There are a few points which mitigate this though. For example, the e66 does not require you to jump through a bunch of hoops like converting mp3's to some other format to get it in as a ringtone. So to a certain degree the ringtone downloads isn't quite as important - hence the Ovi store doesn't need the same level of focus - the customer demand is probably not as great. The iTunes store though, has millions clamouring to change the default ringtones to something reasonable. So it stands to reason they'd have to provide a better service. Also given iTunes focus initially on the iPod and music etc the background development for iTunes was already there and done. Nokia is playing catch up all the way and trying to develop this revenue stream. So the question is - will the community support behind the Ovi store be as great over time as what it appears to be for iTunes?
In the interests of full disclosure I really like both of these phones. I really like making and receiving calls on my Nokia and not have to charge it every single day. I really like the awesome utilities on the iPhone and I especially like the onscreen board for sending texts and emails. I'll compare and contrast the phones in another post but at this point, they both have many pluses and minuses.
In conclusion, the iPhone store - iTunes kicks the butt of the Nokia store Ovi.