If you haven't heard, Apple's a no-show here at Mobile World Congress 2009, this show pretty much belongs to Microsoft, HTC, and Nokia (with a side of Samsung and Sony Ericsson). However, as with other trade shows like CES and CTIA, Apple's presence is felt in its absence. Rather than join their brethren in the mobile community, Apple sits it out and watches while other companies are forced to make their announcements in a context Apple has created. To wit: Both Microsoft and Nokia announced App Stores this week. Microsoft's Market is basically a no-show, though, all we have is promises. Nokia's isn't ready yet either, but it will be in May.
Actually, we know quite a bit about Nokia's App Store, called the Ovi Store. It's an extension (and replacement) of their earlier services and includes everything from apps to ringtones to wallpapers to widgets. Here's the thing, folks: Nokia may have solved the #1 problem at Apple's App Store: finding apps that are 1. good and 2. interest you.
What Nokia has done is build a sophisticated relevancy engine that can sort apps based on a variety of factors that are actually relevant to you -- like what you friends are using, or what kind of app you like to download, or what music you tend to prefer. It looks to be much better than your standard "top 50" list and if Apple is smart and shameless (we know they're both), they'll steal these features as soon as humanly possible.
The Ovi Store also looks to be a little kinder and gentler on developers too, giving them more power over how (and if!) their app will be distributed.
I've written the whole thing up over at sister-site Nokia Experts, go on and take a look.
[How about Apple needs to expand iTunes GENIUS recommendations to the App Store immediately? -- Rene]