Microsoft will shut down Nokia Store in the first half of 2015 and migrate users to the Opera Mobile Store. Apps for phones, including those running on Series 40, Series 60, Asha, Symbian and Nokia X platforms will be made available through this store.
Current Nokia Store users will be redirected to the Opera Mobile Store beginning in the first quarter of 2015. The migration is expected to be completed in the first half of the year, post which the Nokia Store will be permanently shut down. New apps for old Nokia devices can still be uploaded by developers, only it will have to be done at the Opera store.
The Nokia Ovi store had first launched in India back in 2009, with compatibility for over 50 Nokia devices. As recently as last year in August, Nokia had claimed its app store had clocked 2 billion downloads in India, of which 1 billion came from the Series 40 platform and the touch-based Asha platform.
Microsoft which had acquired Nokia’s devices and services business in September last year, decided to phase out Nokia feature phones and Nokia X Android smartphones and focus on Windows Phones in July this year. At the time, head of Microsoft’s devices business Jo Harlow had mentioned in an internal memo that Microsoft plans to immediately ramp down all developer engagement activities related to Nokia X, Asha and Series 40 apps.
With this transition of customers, Opera claims its store will be the third largest app store in terms of downloads. The platform currently claims to host over 300,000 apps, support more than 7,500 devices and have over 40,000 developers on its platform. In August, the browser-maker had entered into an agreement with Microsoft, to make its Opera browser, the default browser on Nokia-branded phones including Series 30+, Series 40, Nokia X and Asha handsets. It currently claims its Opera Mini browser has 50 million active users in India.