Nokia's Ovi app store has finally been made publicly available.

The Ovi Store, which was announced in February, offers more than 20,000 titles including apps and multimedia content, designed for handsets that run using the Symbian S40 and S60 platforms. Nokia said the store will also recommend apps based on the user's location.

The store can be downloaded onto handsets via the web. However it is also expected to be pre-loaded onto Nokia's forthcoming N97 handset. UK users can either pay for their apps via credit card, or by adding the cost to their monthly bill from their network provider.

"Nokia's Ovi store is a step in the right direction but Apple is still the king of the hill when it comes to selling applications," says Ben Wood, research director at CCS Insight told Reuters.

"The long awaited arrival of Nokia's Ovi Store lacks the blaze of publicity Apple was able to achieve when its App Store burst onto the market. Nokia is going to have to spend a small fortune on marketing to make consumers aware of what it is offering," he adds.

Nokia also said developers could submit content for publication in the store, with successful developers getting 70 percent of any app sales.