Nokia said it opened its online software and content store, Ovi Store, globally to some 50 million phone users on Tuesday.

Nokia aims to follow the success of Apple's App Store with its new offering.

Apple's store has proved extremely popular, with one billion applications downloaded in less than a year, and operators and technology firms including Vodafone Nokia, and Microsoft now want a piece of the pie.

The Finnish handset maker began rolling out the store on Monday, opening it to users of a few of its phone models in Australia and Singapore.

Nokia said clients in eight countries can pay for purchases through their phone bills, and AT&T was planning to make the store available to its clients in the United States later in 2009.