Nokia Ovi Store Prices Closer to iPhone App Prices Than I Expected

I’ve been looking through Nokia’s Ovi Store for the past couple of days. The thing that has struck me the most based on my informal survey is the overall trend for prices that are closer to iPhone app prices than the prices I’m used to seeing for Windows Mobile smartphones (the platform I’m most familiar with) and the BlackBerry (which I don’t use and claim extensive app price knowledge).

Windows Mobile app prices tend to start around $9.99 to $14.99 and wander up to about $29.99. There are, of course, apps that cost more or less than this price range. But, most apps seem to be between $14.99 and $29.99. iPhone apps tend to be in the 99 cents to $1.99 range for the most part although there are exceptions like premium games ($4.99 to $9.99) and single book apps ($9.99 to $19.99).

I expected app prices in the Ovi Store to be closer to the Windows Mobile app price range. But, so far, it seems like apps I’ve looked at are priced closer to the iPhone app price range. Numerous utility apps are $1.99 and many games are in the $2.99 to $4.99 range.

These relatively low and affordable app prices should help Nokia kickstart their smartphone app sales efforts. However, Nokia doesn’t have the trained customer based that Apple does. Millions of people were already comfortable with the iTunes store before the first iPhone app became available for sale. Nokia smartphone customers, on the other hand, are probably used to the free-for-all catch-as-catch-can app environment that other smartphone platform users have lived with for many years.