Nokia is preparing to upgrade its Ovi Store app market to version 2.6 in the coming weeks, according to someone familiar with the matter, bringing a pair of important developer- and carrier-friendly changes. The current version of the store is 2.2.
Primarily, the update will enable in-app transactions, both for purchasing downloads and digital content as well as apps themselves -- giving developers the highly-desirable option to offer a single, try-before-you-buy title. Initially, the capability will be limited to only certain developers on a trial basis.
Secondly, Nokia is giving network operators the ability to include their own content for download and sale through customizable "storefronts," which will be skinned a la Verizon's V Cast Market within the Android Market. AT&T was actually said to be planning one of these Ovi Store sections, although now that the Symbian^3-powered X7 has been shelved, there don't seem to be too many devices around to patronize it. Carriers are party to revenue-sharing deals with Nokia, which will provide them with analytics and reporting tools.
Ovi Store 2.6 is expected to roll out in mid-February, right around Mobile World Congress.