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ESPOO, Finland – The popularity of Ovi Store is ever-increasing, according to the latest update from the team. This week, it’s reached a new milestone figure of a whopping three million downloads a day. That’s great news for the developers distributing their apps through the Store, of course, but also good news for end-users as more and more developers get on board to put their wares in front of you.

The headline figure is pretty big, but some of the numbers behind that are just as impressive. The total number of users of Ovi now exceeds 165 million people, across more than 190 countries. And it’s growing at the new rate of 250,000 new users every day. Ninety per cent of visits to the Store lead to an app download – on average each registered visitor downloads 2.6 apps.

At present, 92 developers have reached the 1-million+ download milestone each for their apps. (We were really hoping it was going to be 100 by the time we wrote this! Oh well – it will be next week). You can find out who they are here.

And there’s strong evidence of considerable fresh developer interest in the platform. Over 2010, there have been more than 1.5 million downloads of the Qt SDK and more than 400,000 new developers have signed up with Forum Nokia over the last year. The move to Qt, which speeds up development and seriously reduces the amount of fragmentation developing for different devices, together with free app signing and an improved revenue share for developers are some of the key reasons behind this surge in popularity. There’s some great videos on Forum Nokia from developers converting to the platform here.

Some of the latest apps to hit the Store which have seen a lot of interest from users include:

  • Swype: With one continuous finger or stylus motion across the keyboard, Swype’s technology enables users to input words faster and easier.
  • NHL GameCenter: Keep up with your favorite hockey team by listening to live radio, checking stats and scores, or by watching highlights and condensed games.
  • WhatsApp Messenger: A smartphone messenging app that uses 3G or WiFi  to connect with friends and family. Switch from SMS to WhatsApp to send and receive messages, pictures, audio notes, and video messages at no cost.

We think another big driver for the coming months will be the keenly awaited improvements in user experience and functionality that have come with the version of Ovi Store released for the new Symbian devices. It’s become positively pleasurable to delve into the Store each morning on the lookout for fresh meat – and these days, there’s almost always something worth a try.

And the most popular apps on the Store worldwide? In pole position, it’s Q Torch by CellApp technology of India. Second place is taken by Rovio’s ever-popular Angry Birds – which is the top-selling paid app. Third is new contender Need for Speed Shift HD from EA. The top apps for each region can be found on Forum Nokia, here.

What was the last thing you downloaded?