The Irish national anthem has become an international hit with users of Nokia cell phones. “Amhrán na bhFiann,” which translates to “Soldiers Song” is available for download as a karaoke application for Nokia cell phones.
You only need to attend a national sporting game to discover that many Irish people only know the first few words of their national anthem. The application was developed by MobaNode and the Irish language organization Gaelchultur. It was released before the all Ireland GAA final last year.
Over 25,000 people have downloaded the application, which can be done at this site.
According to Nokia's head of marketing in Ireland Sian Gray, “Fifty per cent of the downloads were from outside the Irish market, including Vietnam and Turkey.”
Gray and her colleagues cannot explain the reasoning behind foreigners downloading the Irish national anthem.
Obviously a lot of the foreign downloads are from Irish people that have settled abroad, but the application was downloaded by an unusually high number of Turkish people.
"We don’t really know why Turkey likes it so much. But it shows that even an application which you think only has a local interest, can have a wider appeal," said Gray.
Nokia has developed a site to rival Apples iPhone App Store. Ovi Store portal site offers countless applications and music to Nokia users. The success of the Amhrán na bhFiann application has encouraged Nokia to set up an application competition for Irish software developers.
The winners of the competition will have their application development and promotional costs covered by Nokia.