Handset maker Nokia, which recently launched its Dual SIM, Touch & Type phones Nokia C2-03 and C2-06, and single SIM variant C2-02, is offering 10 India-specific apps, pre-installed on these handsets. The apps include:
– Yatra Travel Buddy: Allows users to book domestic flight tickets and make payments through a secure connection. Features currently Supported on the app include Flight Search, Seat Confirmation, Itinerary Review, Passenger information, Secure payment and Booking confirmation. Last year, Yatra had launched a similar Android based application for Sony Ericsson’s Xperia phones.
– Bookmyshow: The app allows users to access Bookmyshow on their phones to check out movies, plays, events in their city and book tickets for the same.
– Quikr: Allows users to access the classifieds site Quikr.com. Users can list products and find buyers.
– NgPay: Offers access to ngpay’s network of merchant partners and services, including online stores for travel, entertainment, gadgets, books, flowers, apparel & jewelry. Users can order products through the app and pay using credit/debit cards or cash cards.
– Sulekha: Offers access to Sulekha.com’s local commerce services includings Classifieds, Yellow Pages, Events, Quotes and Offers in 300+ categories.
– ESPN Cricket: The app offers news stories, live scores, videos, statistics, profiles and other information related to Cricket and Tennis.
– News Hunt: The app offers access to more than 50 newspapers in 9 different languages. Users can choose to view news from a specific newspaper or choose a category to view relevant news from various papers. Some content on the app is subscription based.
– Bharat Matrimony: The app gives access to Bharat Matrimony’s online matrimonial service.
– Ganeshaspeaks: The app offers astrological predictions on health, finance, romance, travel, job and business for upto 7 days.
– eBay: Offers access to eBay India’s online marketplace. Users can browse, search and buy products listed on the service, through the app.
Phone Only Apps?
Although many of these services offer native apps for smart phones including on Android, iOS and BlackBerry, there are just a few such as NgPay which offer Java apps for use on feature phones. It looks like they have developed these apps exclusively for Nokia’s feature phones which sport its proprietary Series40 operating system.
Interestingly we tried searching Nokia’s Ovi Store for these apps with the X3-02 selected as our handset model, which is also a Series40 based touch and type phone, and couldn’t find any of these apps. So it appears these are exclusive to Nokia’s new phones.
We still feel that the apps should make an appearance on Nokia’s Ovi Store, and should also be offered through operator and independent app stores, if internet companies want to reach out to feature phone users, and push mobile transactions.
Who Pays For Embedding Apps?
We don’t know if companies like Bookmyshow, Yatra or Bharat Matrimony are charging Nokia a fee to bundle these apps, similar to Geodesic’s pre-bundling model or Nokia is levying a carriage fee to distribute these apps. Most likely these would have been free apps if they were to be available on Nokia’s app store, but being embedded from the start gives them immediate distribution, without having to compete with hundreds and thousands of different apps.
So, if you’re ‘in the know’, tell us – who pays for these apps?