SAO PAULO, Brazil – We reported last week on the explosion of mobile developers for Nokia devices in Africa, but Latin America is also playing a key role in the new apps space. [A guest post from Juan-Carlos Anez, who edits the Spanish version of this blog]. From a total market of 1.3 million developers in the region, 250,000 of them are already creating for Symbian and formally subscribed to Forum Nokia. There’s good reasons for this: Nokia’s market share reaches up to 42 per cent in Latin America and 54 per cent in Brazil.
One result of that is that, in addition to a showcase event called Ovi Expedition held last week in Sao Paulo, Nokia also produced another event called Developer’s Day as a way to promote app creation in Latin American markets. This event, exclusively for mobile developers, featured presentations by executives and technicians from Nokia and Forum Nokia, as well as industry representatives who gave lectures and panel discussions with about 200 developers invited to the event.
Some of the more prominent development houses in the region include Funtastic Lab (Columbia), Ironbit (Mexico), Wigilabs (Canada/Mexico/Columbia), Terra (Brazil), I2 tecnologia (Brazil) and Amnesia Games (Chile). There are currently 2.6 million daily downloads from Ovi Store.
According to Purnima Kochikar, VP of Forum Nokia, “with this event, we wanted to strengthen our support for the developer community in Latin America, both on technical issues and the commercial aspects of the process. We believe that working partnerships between manufacturers and developers will provide consumers with a richer and more personalized experience, that will help to grow the smartphone industry. Our intention is to simplify business processes and make it more interesting for people who create content for our devices. With this, we are enabling more developers to harness the power generated by the millions of people using the Ovi Store”.
Among the main items presented, the most interesting were improvements to the Qt development tools (SDK), which reduced the number of lines of code required to create applications for Nokia smartphones by 70 per cent. The validation process is also more agile: one click to publish applications written in Java and Symbian. Also, attendees learned about a new feature of the Ovi Store that will create additional opportunities for developers such as an “in-app” functionality that can be used for selling virtual goods – think of additional game levels or other advanced features. It will also become possible to use different business models in the Ovi Store such as subscriptions, microtransactions or “try before you buy.”
In terms of social networking, Spanish is the second-most spoken language in the world. On Twitter, for example, one in five users is Latin American (our region grew 420 per cent last year). Did you know that the Spanish goal that decided the last Soccer World Cup generated 3500 tweets per second? That was mainly because of the residual loyalty of Latin American people to the “Mother Country”.
Are you a developer? Sabes español? If not, maybe it´s time to start the lessons…