Microsoft to close Nokia Store
Microsoft’s slow winding up of the Nokia mobile brand has taken another step forward today, with the announcement of the closure of the Nokia Store.
While Nokia Lumia smartphones have long got their apps from the Windows Store, other Nokia phones, including the Asha and Nokia X, have gone to the Nokia Store to download theirs.
This doesn’t mean the end of apps for non-Lumia Nokia phones, however, thanks to a new deal between Opera Software and Microsoft.
From the first quarter of 2015, people trying to access the Nokia Store from Series 40, Series 60, Symbian, Asha and Nokia X devices will be redirected to the Opera Mobile Store automatically. The migration is expected to be completed by June 2015, after which time the Nokia Store will be closed.
Rich Bernardo, VP of Phones at Microsoft, said: “We continue to sell and support classic Nokia devices, which remain popular in many parts of the world. We’re delighted to partner with Opera Software and continue to provide a reliable app store experience for consumers and developers alike.”
Lars Boilesen, CEO of Opera Software, added: “When the current users of the Nokia Store are migrated to Opera Mobile Store, they will continue to get fresh, interesting apps for their Nokia phones. The Opera Mobile Store becomes an even more significant player in the app store market, and Nokia mobile phone users get a first-class app store for years to come.”
According to Opera, once the move is complete its Mobile Store will be the third largest app store by download volume in the world.
An expected end
The move to kill off the Nokia Store doesn’t come as a surprise. Microsoft has been gradually removing the Nokia name from its mobile handsets and business unit over the course of the past few months in line with the terms of its acquisition of the Finnish company’s devices and services division.
That Opera Software is stepping into the breach as the app store of choice is in some ways a logical move, as it was announced back in August that Opera is set to become the default browser for the Series 40, Series 60, Symbian, Asha and Nokia X as well.
However, what is unclear is where owners of the newly announced Nokia N1 Android tablet will be able to download apps from, as Nokia’s previous Android device, the Nokia X, used the Nokia Store rather than Google Play.