Finnish Nokia Oyj, the world's biggest mobile phone maker, said thousands of developers and content providers had registered to sell content in its online store, Ovi, which will be opened in early May.

Ovi is set to compete with Apple Inc's App store and others as they battle to control the emerging smartphone market.

To date, thousands of content providers and developers from around the world have signed up, with majority coming from the U.S., UK, China and India, Nokia said in a statement, adding Ovi would reach some 50 million consumers when it opens.

(Reporting by Tarmo Virki; Editing by Dan Lalor)