Ovi Store and Application Languages

Earlier today Nokia’s Developer organization (aptly named Nokia Developer) released a set of really interesting numbers.

See the article here: http://www.developer.nokia.com/Distribute/Ovi_Store_statistics.xhtml#article0

Let’s drill down behind the numbers and reflect for a second what they mean for selling and marketing your app. From astounding fact that Ovi Store is available in 190 markets to interesting tidbit that Turkey sees 1.6 downloads a week this article is a must read for anyone doing software localization.

90% of Ovi Store users have Ovi Store in their local languages (Ovi Store supports 32 languages)
So 9 out of 10 Ovi users see the store in their own language. What does that mean? First of all: your app needs to speak local language. We knew that already didn’t we? But secondly and even more importantly: your support and marketing material (like webpages) needs to speak user’s language. Localized apps and support material stand out in the crowd of English only apps and it makes it more likely that your app is promoted in country specific recommended lists (it also helps if you have a strong local brand).

The 10 most active markets are (in alphabetical order): China, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the U.K. and Vietnam

To fully reach all top 10 most active markets your application needs to speak:

  • Chinese (Simplified)
  • German
  • At least English, Hindi
  • Indonesian
  • Italian
  • Russian
  • Arabic
  • Turkish
  • Vietnamese

Only top 10 countries you can cover with English are India and UK. And Latin character set gets us only half-way through this list. We have Right-to-Left language Arabic and we have Top to Bottom languages like Chinese. And we have cyrillic alphabet in Russian. Surprisingly no Spanish speaking markets are in top 10 of Ovi Store, but Spain is mentioned as one of the top 15 countries along with France. For app developer this list is a good check list for answering following questions:

  • What languages I should support with my app?
  • Is my web page and marketing material available in all relevant languages?
  • Am I addressing the right markets with my app?
  • What does it mean for my application to support Right-to-Left/non-Latin character set languages?
  • Is my beta test audience right?
  • Is “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” sung by William Shatner the greatest song ever? (yes it is)

It would interesting to drill down even further to these numbers. What is the actual order of these countries? What are the top grossing countries? Hopefully we will get to see these numbers next time.

Other Ovi Store Facts

Series 40 accounts for 25% of the Ovi Store downloads. And number of Series 40 devices out there is mind-boggling: 650 million. Series 40 users would form the third biggest country by population in the world!

In China Ovi Store is 7 times bigger than Apple App Store.

Active users download something 8.5 times a month.

Interesting numbers, aren’t they? What is the most important or interesting of all the numbers? And what number you would like to see to support your app business?

October at Get Localization and the world of Crowdsourcing

It has been rather busy at our office during last couple of weeks. Additionally we’ve been busy meeting interesting people at different. Sadly we missed #Pyconfi at Turku last week but I hear it was a great event. We just love Python and Django (that powers Get Localization) and it would have been interesting to see what other people have created using them.

But we went to Slush10 and we are happy to see that localization is something that startups really get. We talked to many people and saw many good presentations. One of the things that got our attention was that many startups mention localization as a necessary step in growth of a service and reaching new markets. We couldn’t agree more on this. Localization is not just something you do after you have grown. For many services the localization is the means for growth (see the story about Runtastic). Web services and especially mobile services are really personal. When you serve people personally you serve them with their own language. Nokia’s EVP Niklas Savander put this  very nicely in an interview yesterday: “Location not just navigation will be big in many markers. ‘we have the availability of locally relevant apps. It doesn’t matter if you have 200,000 applications in Vietnam if they are all in English.'” See the story here.

On other news you may have noticed a story by Talouselämä later on picked up by Arctic Startup on how Nokia is putting more emphasis on crowdsourcing and they have a chief of crowdsourcing. Story by ArcticStartup here and original Talouselämä arctic in Finnish. Article gives you a good insight on how to plan and organize your crowdsourcing project.

Runtastic and Get Localization

Just a quick pointer to a story by one of our friends Runtastic here: http://blog.mobclix.com/2010/10/25/how-localization-increased-downloads-by-100-for-runtastic/.

This story is an excellent example of how great services become even better serving their customers when they localize their service. Runtastic experience: over 100% growth in downloads after localization!

How to Localize a World Cup Application

World Cup is here with a plethora of World Cup applications (see here for instance: http://www.symbian-guru.com/welcome/2010/06/symbian-gurus-ultimate-guide-to-the-2010-fifa-worldcup-on-symbian.html or here http://mashable.com/2010/06/10/world-cup-android-apps/). If you would like to global with your application what would you need to take into account? There are 32 countries in the competition and couple of hot favourites to unseat the reigning champion Italy (in the absence of Finnish team also my long time favourite).

Country Languages Comment
Australia English Sorry mate, this is the World Cup not the Ashes
Japan Japanese
Korea DPR Korean
Korea Republic Korean
Algeria Arabic Yes, right-to-left writing is supported too
Cameroon French, English
Côte d’Ivoire French
Ghana English
Nigeria English, (Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba)
South Africa Afrikaans
English (South African English)
Southern Ndebele
Northern Sotho
Southern Sotho
Swazi
Tsonga
Tswana
Venda
Xhosa
Zulu
Host country with 11 official languages.
Honduras Spanish
Mexico Spanish
United States English
Argentina Spanish Two words: Lionel Messi
Brazil Portuguese You have 5 already
Chile Spanish
Paraguay Spanish
Uruguay Spanish Stop it, I know what you are thinking
New Zealand English
Denmark Danish
England English
France French What is “handled the ball” in French?
Germany German Whatever you do: avoid the penalties
Greece Greek
Italy Italian
Netherlands Dutch
Portugal Portuguese
Serbia Serbian
Slovakia Slovak
Slovenia Slovene
Spain Spanish Number one favourite
Switzerland Italian, French, German, Romansh

So what if you had a simple web service going live July 11th congratulating the new World Cup winners? How would you make sure that visitor will see the greeting in their own language? By crowdsourcing you your localization of course. See the example project at: http://www.getlocalization.com/WeAreTheChampions

By the way, if you really want to build an app like this go on and sign up to our free beta.