Author Archive for clewko

Alcatel Lucent exposes APIs and a Sandbox for Mobile Developer Support

Francisco Kattan, Alcatel Lucent

January 14th was a busy day of interviews for WIP! While Thibaut was in London, UK, interviewing GetJar; I was down in the Bay Area where I stopped by to have lunch with Francisco Kattan, Sr. Director Developer Ecosystem at Alcatel Lucent. I got a little lost and was late, but he graciously took the time to have this interview with me. He is a veteran in the mobile developer space, so I was particularly interested in his advice for mobile developers; but also to find out how a company like Alcatel Lucent, a traditional infrastructure player, was providing new opportunities for mobile developers.

Caroline: You’ve seen all sides of the mobile industry given your experience with Adobe, Openwave and now Alcatel Lucent; what has been the most significant change for mobile developers over the last few years?

Francisco: The last three years started a new era in mobile that elevated the stature of developers in the ecosystem. Devices are finally good platforms for consuming applications, the operator walled gardens are now open, and most importantly developers have access to distribution channels without the need for intermediaries who took a sizable share of revenue. In addition, we are now experiencing a formidable battle among the mobile platforms that although it increased fragmentation, it has created unprecedented competition for developer mindshare. The platform with the most developer mindshare will have a significant advantage in this battle. As a result of these changes over the last three years, developers now enjoy a much more prominent place in the value chain and this is reflected in the more generous revenue shares of around 70%.

Caroline: The concept of ‘mobile development’ and ‘mobile developer’ has changed significantly since Ai (after the iPhone). Developers must to turn to the ‘dark side’ and embrace marketing more than ever. What advice do you have for them about merchandising their applications?

Francisco: You’re right. This new “Ai” era has solved significant issues for developers (i.e. opened distribution channels and improved revenue shares), but it has also created new challenges. This era has created unlimited shelf space making it difficult for applications to be discovered. With tens of thousands of applications in the app stores how do your apps stand out from the crowd? Here is my advice to developers:

Invest in marketing. You can’t rely solely on the app store provider to market your application. Sure, if your app could get promoted on the app store carousel, you’re golden – but there are no clear rules on how to do this. Go back to basics: understand the audience you’re trying to reach, figure out the best vehicles (such as social networks) to reach it, and communicate your value proposition clearly. Watch your analytics and update you app and marketing plans accordingly.

Enrich your app with network capabilities. Don’t limit your app to device APIs. Operators are now beginning to open their networks with APIs that can help you differentiate so you app can stand out. As an example, if your game could bill for ammunition on the operator bill, you’d have an advantage. Many operators are also launching new app stores that are not yet as crowded so your apps can be discovered more easily. Although it’s been difficult for many smaller developers to work with operators in the past, this is an area where Alcatel Lucent can help and I hope we can discuss in Barcelona.

Caroline: Are there too many go to market options for developers?

Francisco: There are certainly a lot of app stores today. While the number of stores will likely consolidate, it’s important for developers to understand their target market and pick distribution channels accordingly. For example, some stores have a bigger presence in some regions of the world, some have more business users, some have more music lovers, and even some target different device types (feature phones vs. smartphones). I think you’ve done a nice job with your WIP App Store wiki to help developers understand the landscape so they can make informed decisions.

Caroline: Given the many different possibilities to create applications and reach a market - how can you and your team at Alcatel Lucent help developers be more effective?

Francisco: Alcatel Lucent makes it easier for developers to work with operators. Whether developers are looking for ways to differentiate their applications or for operator distribution opportunities, we can help. Operators have key assets such as billing, customer profile, location, and device capabilities that in the past have been difficult for developers to reach. We are helping bridge this gap. We help the operators expose these capabilities in the form of APIs and we help developers gain access to them without having to negotiate with each operator separately.

Caroline: Are there specific APIs that you are supporting right now?

Francisco: Yes. Through our cross operator cloud offering we’ve already deployed a set of location and geofencing APIs and many more will come. Unlike device APIs, these APIs support the entire range of devices, not just the high end devices, and don’t require that software be installed on the device. These advantages enable many more applications. We’re also already helping a number of operators expose these and other APIs to their developer communities in several regions of the world.

Caroline: What about the ability to trial applications? Can you tell us more about the Alcatel Lucent sandbox?

Francisco: Yes, we offer a sandbox for developers to develop and test their applications. Our developer portal also offers documentation, tutorials, sample code and support. Unlike other programs, developers can go directly from our sandbox to production without having to negotiate terms or be certified by the operators. Developers simply sign up to the service via our click-through agreement and they are ready to go.

Caroline: Where can developers find you at Mobile World Congress, and what should they ask you about?

Francisco: Alcatel Lucent will have a very prominent presence in Barcelona, as usual. You can find us in Hall 8 (stand 8A147) and also in App Planet (stand 7D61) where we want to meet with developers and show them how they can get involved. We’re also going to be at the WIP JAM, of course. (Francisco is a speaker on UnPanel #2 - Appstore Placement Optimization)

Developers should come to our App Planet stand to see what other developers have already created using network APIs, hear about our upcoming announcements, and discuss how to get started. I’d like to also encourage developers to arrange for meetings with us ahead of time using this link: http://ow.ly/13bJD

Caroline: For those developers that can’t make it to MWC – where can they find additional information about the Alcatel Lucent Developer initiatives?

Francisco: Our developer portal is at http://developer.openapiservice.com. You can also follow us on Twitter and FaceBook.

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Ericsson getting ready to Jam at MWC2010

Meet the Ericsson team at WIPJam

Meet the Ericsson team at WIPJam

The Ericsson team will be joining the upcoming WIP Jam session at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. We are scheduled for Thursday, February 18 as part of the new App Planet in Hall 7. We wanted to find out from our Sponsors what Jammers can expect to see and learn from them at the Jam session, so we under took this interview.

1. So who are we going to meet at WIPJam from the Ericsson team?

The Ericsson team that will be participating at WIP Jam will consist of Johan Olander, Jonas Wilhelmsson, Konstantin Zervas, and Elena Fersman. We are working with end-to-end solutions that bring developers and mobile operators together, help developers distribute their applications in an efficient way, and enhance applications with new capabilities.  Konstantin will be part of UnPanel #2: Appstore Placement Optimization taking place from 2:00pm to 3:00pm.

2. Ericsson is not part of the traditional mobile developer landscape and most people would associate you with the infrastructure side. However we have seen a lot of developer focused activities and initiatives from Ericsson lately, what has changed?

It is because of the paradigm shift. We are moving from the closed garden where operator assets were only accessible by a small number of dedicated developers, to the open garden where anyone can build applications based on operator network infrastructure. Ericsson is still focused on delivering network infrastructure, but also on the exposure of these assets to developers in form of easy-to-use light-weight APIs. And now we will also serve as a link between developers and operators with the marketplace and hosted application store that we have built in order to provide an efficient go-to-market channel for developers.

3. Your activities tend to focus on network infrastructure and billing APIs, could you explain how mobile developers can use those to increase their revenues?

Capabilities in the network such as messaging, location and payment bring value to mobile applications. Enhance the application with location and it will sell better. Or include one-click payment into your game and end-users will start to purchase more. Advertising is another way of getting revenue – spread your free application and get paid for the ads that the consumers will see when they launch it. Or come to the Ericsson application marketplace and we will take care of the distribution and retail for you.

4. How do I find out if the operator I want to work with will support these APIs?

Our strategy is to solve this question for developers. We will provide cross-operator APIs so that developers would not need to care about changing the APIs in order to hit specific operator assets. We are working with Ericsson IPX that acts as a global multimedia broker and opens up for cross-operator access to network assets such as SMS and Location.

5. On the technology front your solutions are mostly Java APIs? Correct? If so what solutions do you offer to iPhone or Android developers? (Are those standards on the way?)

It is correct that we have been focusing on Java. Lately, we have chosen to focus on REST APIs so there would not be any problem for iPhone and Android developers. And these APIs will be aligned with GSMA One API standard.

6. However your SDKs address more than just mobile development, do you have any example of applications being developed that use your APIs?

We have many partners that build server-side applications using Ericsson APIs. Examples include home security, gaming engines, and multimedia communication.

7. I see a lot of great activities coming from your Innovation Centre in South Africa. What activities are you involved in encouraging application developers in developing countries and for developing countries?

We run developer events in many countries, often together with mobile operators, in order to increase awareness of the APIs, tools, and go-to-market channel that we offer developers.

8. What is the “thing” from Ericsson that attendees will anticipate and get excited to att WIP Jam?

We have now built a business model to sell your applications via multiple operators all over the world. Submit your application to us and see the money coming in to your account. The applications will be distributed to many countries and operators - already now we can distribute in 17 countries, and more will come. This new “thing” will be launched at Mobile World Congress.

Prior to the WIP Jam session, stop by the Ericsson Booth on the Avenue (AV07) or visit the Ericsson Developer Connection Website.

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WIPJam @ MWC App Planet - Agenda is up!

Mobile World Congress is coming up VERY soon!  Yikes.   It’s  time to go through the checklist:
- airfare booked - check
- room booked - check
- signed up for WIPJam - check!

Wait a minute….  are you telling me you you haven’t done any of these yet :-0

Well - you are in luck!  Because WIP is a Mobile World Congress App Planet Partner, it’s not too late to get yourself signed up and even get some good deals.

FIRST the travel

Hotel deals: MWC has identified several hotels in Barcelona that do not require a minimum stay. This is perfect for developers and guests that will only be attending  a specific App Developer Conference or a limited portion of the Congress.

Airfare deals: Save up to 30% on domestic and up to 20% on international travel to Barcelona between 10 February 2010 and 23 February 2010 with Spanair and the Star Alliance Network.

To take advantage go to:  http://www.appplanethotel.beinbeyond.com/
UserName:  WIP
Password:  Developer

There are also lots of great apartments around to share.  We know a few folks who are looking for some roomies - let us know if you’d like to connect.

NOW for WIPJam and FREE Passes to MWC!

WIP has 200 Guest/Exhibit passes for entry to MWC2010, to give to eligible developers to attend(that’s a 599 Euro value).  What’s an eligible developer you ask? We will favor small companies, you must attend WIPJam, and you have to write something creative on the WIPJam registration page!

Why attend WIPJam?

Well - you wouldn’t ask that if you were a Jam veteran!  It’s a great place to learn about mobile development, participate in discussions to find out information really relevant to YOU, and to meet and connect with LOTS of people in the mobile developer ecosystem that can start making a difference in your business right way.

Check out the Agenda! Featuring:

1  WIP Buzz Session
2   UnPanels  - #1 Sticky and Spready Redux, #2 App Store Placement Optimization
8   Discussion Groups: Cross Platform Development, Merchandising your Application, Opportunities in Open Source, Mobile Web Development, Emerging Markets, Augmented Reality, Features and Enhancements for Addictive Apps and Getting Cool Content from the Cloud
1   Lunch
10+   Demos
200+   Jammers

Great sponsors like:

Qualcomm, Alcatel Lucent, Ericsson, Enough Software, MoSync, O2 Litmus, Perfecto Mobile, GetJar and Oracle.

And here are just some of the speakers:
Sean Galligan, Flurry
Mark Curtis, Flirtomatic
Francisco Kattan , Alcatel Lucent
Simon Davies,  Snaptu
Patrick Mork, Getjar
Deep Shah, Buzzd
Katie Lips, Kisky Netmedia
Robert Virkus, Enough Software
Eran Yaniv, Perfecto Mobile
Charles McLeod, MetaFlow
Matts Bergrund, Swirly Space
Tony Hartley, MoSync
Ofir Leitner, Mobile Monday Televiv
James Parton, O2 Litmus
Emmanuel Ekuwem, ATCON (Association of Telecom Companies of Nigeria)
Lester Madden, Augmented Planet
David Caabeiro, Sequence Point
Patrik Nordstrom, idevio
Scott Jensen, LegiTime
Raj Singh, Skyfire
Stephen Cull, Oracle

and of course Caroline Lewko (me) and Thibaut Rouffineau of WIP facilitating, ringing bike bells, cutting off any visible ties and making sure the developer voice is heard loud and clear!

More details to come as we wrap up sponsors and speakers!  See you soon.

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Open Innovation Gets a FAIL with Mobile Developers

Is Open Innovation Working?Put your money where your mouth is for open innovation.

I first wrote about the rise of ‘open’ and open innovation over 2 years ago (and one blog ago). The premise of Open Innovation is about dropping the mentality of ‘not invented here’; and to collaborate with outside partners. I said back in May 2007, “We are now entering the next phase of Open Innovation in the form of user input and the proliferation of communities. The challenge is how to identify the great opportunities and exploit them in a collaborative way.

We decided to benchmark Open Innovation to gauge if it is actually working for developers in our mobile and wireless community:

1. Open is Socially Acceptable = PASS

The term openness and the realization of collaborating with others is now mainstream. Even the big operators who had a tough time embracing it, and then implementing it are really starting to do a good job. A good example is the JIL initiative between Vodafone, Verizon, China Mobile and Softbank to create a platform for developers to initially distribute widgets between these operators.

2. Growth in Open Source = PASS (Conditional)
Open source along with being socially acceptable is truly seeing some great strides. The LIMO Foundation has launched their first device, Symbian has turned into an open source foundation, and even Google has since launched the Open Mobile Alliance and Android.  I give this a conditional pass, as there is still controversy with these initiatives as to how ‘open’ they actually are – time will tell.

3. Open APIs = PASS (and then some)
This is one area that I certainly didn’t predict would grow as large and fast as it has. It’s not just the APIs of our operators, and platforms; but the  proliferation of open APIs from most large software platforms like Facebook and Twitter, and many smaller ones as well – all looking to capitalize on the creativity of 3rd party mobile developers to grow the usage of their platforms and tools. It’s no wonder firms like Mashery, who provide the technical know-how to open the APIs, are seeing great success.

4. Creation and Rise of App Stores = PASS (Conditional)
Open Innovation has definitely given rise to the era of App Stores. The big companies are pushing innovation down the value chain and providing opportunities for the smaller companies to have a smoother path to market. The competition with App Stores has increased revenue share for developers, and the number of options go to market opportunities available. We are very pleased to see this happening, but there is still much work to be done on the submission process, discoverability, and billing to make it really pay off for developers.

5. Rise in Developer / Partner Programs = Pass (Conditional)
As open innovation demands the need to play nice with other companies, the need to provide programs to work with developers and partners has risen exponentially. We applaud those who have put programs in place – it’s an imperative. However, I don’t think that enough thought or resources go into most programs. As you push the cost of innovation down the value chain, you can’t expect the 3rd parties to bear the brunt of the technical/resource costs of creation and also try to sort out how to access your open door and interpret your rules.  You’ve got to play nice too.

6. Rise in Developers = PASS
Rise in Developers Making Money = FAIL

I predicted the rise in developers along while ago, which in part led to founding of WIP.  Since then, we have continued to see a rise in numbers of developers and types of developers (traditional and now more content/web developers joining the party). This is due to all the above points; and of course the rise in acceptance of mobility by the general public (about time! from those of us that drank the koolaid over a decade ago).

Certainly there are more opportunities now for developers of all types to innovate and find paths to market. As well there are many developers that do have a revenue stream. For these reasons we give Open Innovation a big PASS.

However, for developers’ own ROI we still give Open Innovation a FAIL for the following reason: the risk and inherent cost of innovation is being pushed down the value chain to the group that can least afford it. The mobile and wireless industry is a trillion dollar industry, one of the largest in history and the world. The operators and the OEMs are making very hefty returns. But it is very much a have/have not world. Developers still struggle to make sustainable revenue and secure investment.

We think there are ways for the developers programs to mitigate risk and increase opportunities for the dev program and developers alike as follows:

  • Sharing of more subscriber information with developers so they don’t have to guess if their applications are working or where the best opportunities are.
  • Stop charging developers to participate in your programs or conferences. It is already costly for them to travel to these events. As well, it is not a wise practice for developers to be exclusive, so you are not the only event for them to attend.
  • Engage and pay for co-creation of new applications and platforms.
  • Additional marketing/go to market advice for developers.
  • Create more variable revenue share  models based on developer participation and your additional value to promoting their applications (just creating a store front may not be worth 30%).

What did we miss?

WIP looks forward to working with the mobile developer community for better opportunities; and we look forward to your comments!

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Sticky or Spready and other hot mobile developer topics from CTIA

Sticky or Spready?

Sticky or Spready?

Sticky or Spready? Which would you choose? That was the premise for our hot UnPanel on mobile analytics at the WIPJam session at CTIA in San Diego on October 8, 2009.

The winner? Sticky, which measures the user engagement and satisfaction with a mobile application, was chosen by all three UnPanelists - Sean Galligan of Flurry, Jeff Wender of Nielsen and Mark Donovan of ComScore. My co-facilitator Seamus McAteer of Majestic Research agreed. The reason being you want an application to stick, for someone to want it, use it, and more importantly – pay for it!

Now that’s not to say that being spready (hey, it was a Jam session) or viral isn’t important. And a viral campaign is certainly needed to spread the word in a mobile marketplace that is getting increasingly noisy. But app developers need to first develop an application to meet a market demand (not a new story, but one worth repeating!)

The next question then was – how do you measure the sticky or spready success of your application? The UnPanelists and Jammers offered a number of market level and ‘in-app’ metrics as follows:

Market Level Metrics which tend to be more costly to track down include:

  • Audience size
  • Types of phones
  • Demographics
  • Preferences

In-App Metrics to track include:

  • Revenue tracking
  • Comparative value
  • Volume
  • Technology
  • Customer features such as page views, event tracking and navigation.
  • Usage metrics such as:User
    Sessions
    Session length
    Frequency
    Retention
    Geography

What did we miss? - add your comments.There was also some discussion from some of the big companies about providing some info to WIP to share with developers…..  Apply some pressure so it happens - keep asking them for it!

Cross media analytics are when both market level and in-app metrics are used together.

Flurry is becoming a key player in this space offering the first free, cross-platform service to provide developers with detailed analytics about how, when, where and by whom their mobile applications are being used. Their customers are getting great insight into how customers are using their applications – often in ways never expected. Flurry recently announced a partnership with T-Mobile USA who is offering the Flurry analytics tool to their developers (another WIPJam introduction!)

Darius Gandhi and colleague from HipVoice with Caroline Lewko of WIP

Darius Gandhi and colleague from HipVoice winner of the ATT Award with Caroline Lewko of WIP

In other exciting news from CTIA – congratulations to HipVoice, with their push-to-talk software solution, who were winners of the AT&T Fast Pitch Platinum Awards in the Enterprise category.  Check out the great video of the awards here. When we met Darius Gandhi of HipVoice (see photo) at our WIPJam session at CTIA in Las Vegas earlier this year, we knew he and his company were winners so we did what we had to do. We introduced HipVoice to Ed Schmidt from AT&T Dev Central and also got Darius to lead a Discussion Session at WIPJam!

The last interesting tidbit from WIPJam came during our opening UnPanel on Going Global, with a comment by Tim Chang of Norwest Ventures partners who let us know that VCs aren’t interested in companies whose sole revenue model is based on mobile advertising, the reach just isn’t there yet.

To all our UnPanelists, Discussion Leaders and YOU our attendees - thanks for Jam’n with WIP.

And thanks to our great sponsors:  Qualcomm, Sony Ericsson, BlackBerry, AT&T Dev Central, Eclipse-Pulsar, Mobile Socery and Forum Nokia.

Here are a few more photos:

Bill Maggs from Sony Ericsson leads Discussion group on Cross Platform developmentJam'n in San DiegoWIPJam SD8

WIPJam SD7WIPJam SD6Lisa Whelan Discussion Leader

Sean McAteer at WIPJam SDWIPJam SD5WIPJam SD4

WIPJam SD3

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Carnival of Mobilists #190 – Check out the Weekly Review of Mobile Blogs

I was reminded about the birth of the Mobilists this week due to an inquiry from a new participant, who I passed along to Judy Breck the Volunteer Coordinator who said: 

“Carnival of the Mobilists is an informal project among people who blog about mobile. It was started over 3 years ago by Russell Buckley. I am the volunteer coordinator. This is the About page on the Carnival website: http://mobili.st/?page_id=2

As the page says: “Send your entry to: mobilists@gmail.com. All participants writing about mobile are welcome - you don’t need a special invitation.”

So there’s the key – Anyone who writes/blogs about anything mobile are welcome.  So what are you waiting for?  It’s a great way to get your site and your ideas in front of an expanded crowd.  I have to say, the submissions this week were initally light – not in terms of content – but in numbers. So I pinged and tweeted a few friends, who kindly whipped their submissions quickly into shape. 

Here’s a challenge for next week Carnival # 191– Anyone submitting their blog, has to bring a new blogger along with them.

winner-722848

**********************************************************************

On to this week’s submissions:

Erique Ortiz pulled through with a late entry, that was worth the wait!  An indepth analysis of the Google App Market.
http://weblog.cenriqueortiz.com/mobility/2009/09/06/the-google-app-market-an-analysis/

If you are interested in Mobile Learning – scoot yourself over to Mark van Hooft’s Site – Ubiquitous Thoughts.   Mark has a Carnival-like posting on what happened in mobile learning over the summer including links to resources and news items.
http://ubiquitousthoughts.wordpress.com/2009/09/04/a-mobile-learning-round-up-of-sorts/

Tam Hanna at Tams Jungle, presents an interview with Berthold Thomas, the CEO of Huchison Austria.  Really interesting insight into Thomas’ predictions for Apple, Nokia and Microsoft, while giving us a flavour of the mobile growth in Austria.  I wonder how that market translates into others?
http://tamsijungle.tamoggemon.com/2009/08/30/interview-berthold-thoma-ceo-hutchison-austria/

Over at GoldenSwamp, our fearless Mobilists Coordinator, Judy Breck, has a great way of analyzing the social impact of mobility.  This week she tackles school kids censorship amidst the turmoil about whether President Obama’s speech to school kids on Tuesday should be heard by them. And as Judy says:  Yet any kid at school with a smartphone can browse to the White House website to watch and listen
http://www.goldenswamp.com/2009/09/04/mobiles-make-the-choice-to-watch-individual/

In Does Seth the blogger man have a valid point to make? Ajit Jaokar questions ATT’s  human(oid) blogger guy called Seth Bloom and how Peak Rate issues are being experienced and handled.  Those of us attending events like MWC and CTIA experience peek rate issues all the time.
http://opengardensblog.futuretext.com/archives/2009/09/does_seth_the_b.html

Who and how to target mobile users is a struggle for all mobile developers. In part gaining access to statistics is part of the challenge, as then allowing for skews in data.  Tom from Masabi offers an article on Hacking Admob Handset Statistics to generate a profile of handset manufacturer priorities to support if you want to reach current mobile web users, which he says is a useful proxy for early adopters for networked applications as well.
http://blog.masabi.com/2009/09/hacking-admob-handset-statistics.html

Our perennial favorite blogger, Andrew Grill, touts a newly launched on-line magazine called Point Zero, covering social, mobile & enterprise launches.
http://andrewgrill.com/blog/?p=2709

Our resident Mobile Develop Activist at WIP, Thibaut Rouffineau, provides us a piece on some mobile hot topics including openness, netbooks and writing apps for smartphones.
http://wipjam.com/2009/09/counting-the-days/

The Winner this week is……. (drum roll) a tie.  Both have very thoughtful pieces, where an obvious amount of work has gone into them.

  • Tom from Masabi for his great insight and analytical skills in reviewing handset statistics.
  • Enrique Ortiz for this analysis of the Google App stgore.

Don’t forget to sign up for our upcoming WIPJAM sessions, the UnConference for Mobile developers where we are serious about No Panels, No PPT and No Ties!  We always make sure our Jams our Free for Developers.

 
Summer is behind us and we step up the pace for the continued excitement and constant change and amazement in the mobile and wireless industry.  GiddyYup!!!

on-vacation-pinkAnd once this is posted, I am officially on vacation for a week.  Yeah!

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Trip Report – Around the Mobile World in 31 days

As many of you know, June was a heavier than usual business travel schedule for me as it included 10 airflights, 4 train rides, 6 countries, 3 continents (Asia, Europe and North America), 1 boat ride, 3 speaking engagements, 2 WIP receptions and 2 mini WIPJAM sessions. Whew!

I want to share with you the activities and observations I had along the way - warning this is a long blog.

I started traveling at an early age, so am well aware of how countries and cultures can be different that you expect; and that you certainly can’t paint countries or even cities in a region with the same brush stroke of ‘this is the way they are’. This trip once again confirmed that, and in particular the the developer/mobile industry nuances in different places.  And as always, I’m ruled by my belly, so I also shared some ‘personal’ impressions too!

NORTH AMERICA
San Francisco – June 1-4 – Java One
June started off at JavaOne in San Francisco (15,ooo attendees)  for our WIPJAM Session with the Java Verified team at JavaOne. We reported on this is on last newsletter so I won’t repeat. The talk at the show and what continues after are questions of what Oracle will make of SUN and in particular JAVA ME.

ASIA – Shanghai, Singapore
Shanghai - June 8-13
I’ve been lucky enough to participate in Canada’s Investment Champion program, where I am invited to speak about the strength of Canada’s wireless industry at various international events. So that is what brought me to Shanghai. I hadn’t been to China is almost 9 years so was eagerly anticipated the trip (I used to market industrial park space in Fujian province). I spoke at a Canadian Chamber event and had meetings with many of China’s leading companies including China Telecom, Huawei, LeadCore (DaTang), Hanyin (China UnionPay), and others.

Business Impressions: China is promoting 3G in a huge way, now that the licenses have been set, TD-SCDMA the home grown network is ready to go, and the handsets ready; and with the anticipated September launch of China Mobile’s  new developer program and Mobile Market app store based on what’s called OMS (Open Mobile System that is built on Android). It’s a prepaid market, with higher fees than normal, so no surprise that there is a bit of complaining going on from consumers; but I think no different from the Western markets when the smarthphones with high device and plan fees were introduced.  China mobile already claims 1 million 3G subs, adding 100 k every week (400 million total).

So that of course leads to apps, which are in hot demand now to meet the needs of this new network. There is a steady growth of local developers, many with a lot of expertise and arrogance to work this market (reminds me of the US somewhat - ‘it’s so big we don’t need to pay attention to what is happening anywhere else’.) And of course always room in markets for the big brands. Is there room for other smaller developers (language/localization issues aside)? We think so, and are working on a beta project to determine some helpful gateways – stay tuned. If you have some knowledge – please share with the rest of us!

Personal Impressions: The pollution is really sad, as a constant haze is over the city, so the great cityscape is just not as impressive as it used to be, and there are more buildings that my last visit! But China is great for clothes (I had a nice jacket made to measure, see in photo in Cologne below), and of course the food is always so diverse and fantastic (I twittered about an especially interesting meal while there).

Singapore – June 13- 18 – Communicasia and WIP Reception

Mark Nadall (NAVTEQ) and Device winners courtesy of NAVTEQ at the WIP JAM reception in Sinagpore during Communicasia with Caroline

Marc Nadall (NAVTEQ) and Device winners courtesy of NAVTEQ at the WIP JAM reception in Singapore during Communicasia with Caroline

The Singapore leg centered on Communicasia, a place and event I also haven’t been to in over 9 years. I spoke at the Canada Partnering Day, had many meetings, and hosted a WIP reception for mobile developers that was sponsored by NAVTEQ (thanks!). We had over 100 people out, made some great contacts and had a great time. We are gearing up for a full WIP JAM session next year!

Business Impressions: Communicasia was always the event I measured the other big events against; the size; international nature and really cool cool products and especially devices. I was disappointed, in part because CTIA and MWC have really made great strides the last few years; but also the event was trying to be a few too many things to too many people – lots of infrastructure, broadcast as well and a little bit in between. I didn’t feel wowed this time. That being said, it is still an event that stands at the confluence of Asian activities, so a great place to get a flavor for the region and meet lots of great people. I will attend again.

I was pleased to see a new organization announced – the Mobile Alliance of Singapore. As my readers know, I’m a big fan of regional organizations having founded and supported several. They are valuable in that they take both a big picture perspective on their regions (ecosystem and economic development) as well as provide the promotion and events/networking that the local companies need. We look forward to working with them and including them as a WIP partner.

Not just in Singapore, but in the Asian region as a whole, a noticed a much stronger entrepreneurial footing that I recall from 9 years ago. There are more SMEs with real products (lots of eagerness but mostly brochureware previously), and a good understanding of how to build a business – I guess time and experience were needed.

Markets to watch in this area from my impressions and several other ‘expert’ opinions I spoke to are: China and India of course; then Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam. Sri Lanka also had good very good reviews, especially in light of the government stabilization.

My prediction: The West has better watch out for the next 18-24 months is going to see a influx of strong competition in the mobile development space coming out of Asia.

ON TO EUROPE …..
We are hosting a WIP JAM Day for Developers (September 16) at the upcoming OSiM event in Amsterdam (15/16). We will make this the biggest open source event for mobile developers – oh yeah! So we undertook a European tour to find the best developers, look for great topic ideas and really good speakers. And by we I mean myself and Thibaut Rouffineau (formerly Symbian), who is taking the lead on this event.

Business Impressions: In general we initially found it hard to nail down where the developer crowds were in these parts of Europe. Then we found some great connectors that led us to many great people and companies. I would encourage these regions to look into the regional clusters/associations to provide some cohesion to these groups.

Amsterdam – June 19-23
We held a pub night and met some great folks . We were really impressed with the creativity and innovation of the crowd here, especially on the media/content side. I anticipate great success for many of these companies. And thanks to Sandra Brandenburg who helped us connect to many others!

Personal Impressions: Nice to be back to cool fresh air after being in Asia. I made a mistake of booking into a lovely apartment right beside a canal AND a fantastic fromagerie (my ultimate weakness). I also enjoyed a lovely concert in a dom in Utrecht with my brother’s inlaws. Amsterdam has got to be one of the easiest cities to get around. Looking forward to being back there in September (yes same apartment booked).

Cologne/Bonn – June 23/24

Caroline Tweeting at the  Medien Forum - photo by Andrew Grill

Caroline Tweeting at the Medien Forum - photo by Andrew Grill

I took a quick train ride to Bonn for a meeting with T Mobile International. The main focus of this leg of the trip was speaking at the Medien Forum, that Mark Wächter so graciously request I speak on APP Stores. It was a lively event, but only 2 hands popped up in the crowd of almost 200 when I asked who was a mobile developer. I think my presentation may have been a bit greek to the crowd. It also nice to finally meet so many fellow Twitters including @jmacdonald @andrewgrill @sarik @ossiu @paulbmma @cellity and @MobileZeitgeist

Here is a copy of my slides from Medien Forum presentation in Cologne on “It’s Raining App Stores – Hallelujah?”

Berlin – June 25-27 – LinuxTag
LinuxTag is without question the geekiest event I have ever attended (JavaOne a far second!). We held a mini WIPJAM there with folks from Open Moko, Mozilla, Enough (J2ME Polish) and others participating. Thanks so much to the Symbian Foundation for sponsoring our participation there. You can read more on this event from Thibaut impressions here.

Personal Impressions: The best Italian food I’ve ever had, both times, has been in Berlin.

Marseille 27-30
Now that was fun! The PACA Mobile Center held their annual Nuit du Mobile, which has grown into the Day and Night of Mobile; with developer events during the day and a reception in the evening. We held a WIP JAM session with about 100 developers in the afternoon on the topics NFC led by Stephane Lebas from SFR, App developments on SIM cards led by Frederic Martinent from Gemalto, revenue generation by Steve Haney of Mobile Distillery and Thibaut and I leading platform choices and App Stores respectively. Check out the WIPwiki forum for all the notes. We also instigated a new Jam format we called the WIPJAM Buzz – a series of 15 minute rapid topics on recent events. Here we raced through JavaOne and asked topics like is Oracle the end of J2ME; the Apple event (iphone 3.0 and Iphone 3GS?) and Google I/O (HTML 5 or Native SDK? And Donuts anyone?)

Business Impressions: A tres vibrant mobile development community in Southern France, and a great cluster of support from the government, centers like PACA, and big companies like Gemalto. Still getting their entrepreneurial feet wet though and still some language barriers – thank goodness there were enough translators for me!

Personal Impressions: Vincent Berge and his team at Mobile Distillery, along with the Provence government are the best hosts. We were treated so well – thanks so much. Of course, the highlight was the boat ride out to Porquerolles for some swimming and sunning, with Captain Berge.

Dinner at Lunch at the Calanque

Dinner at Lunch at the Calanque

Salut to a successful Nuit de Mobile and great friends. R-L  Caroline, Steve Haney, Eric Chan, Vincent Berge, Thibaut Rouffineau

Salut to a successful Nuit de Mobile and great friends. R-L Tim Baker, Caroline, Steve Haney, Eric Chan, Vincent Berge, Thibaut Rouffineau

Eric Chan (Mobile Slate) and Caroline, Tweeting on the Med.

Eric Chan (Mobile Slate) and Caroline, Tweeting on the Med.

It was then off to Paris for a quick dinner with a friend from Alcatel Lucent and a flight back home to Vancouver (still the best place on earth!).  I know I’ve missed alot - but if thank you for sticking it out this far!

WHO WANTS TO COME WITH ME NEXT TIME AND WHERE SHOULD WE GO?
Let me know!  I definitely think I should do one of these a year. With the right pace, they actually aren’t as tiring as a week at CTIA or MWC; but the emails sure pile up.

So now its summer! You think it’s time to slow down? Nuh uh – not when we are still having so much fun!

Our BIG announcement is the mini WIPJAM session at the Verizon Developer Community Conference, taking place July 28 in San Jose. Watch this space for more updates, and if you haven’t yet – register now, as it’s filling up fast.

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Carnival of the Mobilists # 178

The  Carnival is up for this week, aptly managed by Volker Hirsch of Volker on Mobile.  The Carnival is the weekly gathering of mobile blogs, conveniently arranged in one place for you to see the best of the week.  Apps Stores and the Palm Pre continue to be favorite topics, and an interesting post on mobile couponing.

What are you waiting for?  Go check it out!

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WIP Reception for Mobile Developers @ Communicasia in Singapore - update

Join us in Singapore!

WIP Connector Reception
Tuesday, June 16th
Brewerkz Riverside Point
30 Merchant Road #01-05/06 Riverside Point
Singapore
We’ll get Communicasia started off on the right foot.

Sponsored by NAVTEQ.

Sign up here.

***************************

Other activities/events/parties at Communicasia 2009 (let me know if you know of others):

Monday, June 15th

Canada ICT Partnering Forum and Marketplace 2009
Marriott Singapore, Ballroom, Level 3
8:30am - 5:00pm
RSVP

Tuesday, June 16th

WIP Reception @ Communicasia

Brewerkz Riverside
7pm to 10pm - sponsored by NAVTEQ
RSVP

Wednesday, June 17th

NAVTEQ LBS Challenge Awards Ceremony
NAVTEQ Stand 3L2-07
3:30pm
People’s Choice Award Winner: Vote for your favorite by 2:30pm on Friday (June 19th) and be entered in raffle to win cool devices. Stop by NAVTEQ stand and view the 13 semifinalist applications.

Singapore-ASEAN-Sweden Networking Event at CommunicAsia 2009
The Swedish Pavilion at CommunicAsia 2009
Hall 4, Booth 4G4-01
3pm and 5pm
RSVP

Mobiquest Mobile Test Center Launch Reception
Crowne Plaza Chengi Airport, Chengal Ball Room
6pm - 8pm
RSVP

Singapore Business Partners’ Nite
Co-hosted with Media Development Authority(MDA) of Singapore
Genexis, Level 5, Fusionopolis
6:30pm - 9:30pm
Private Function

Thursday, June 18th

CommunicAsia Telco Drinks night
BQ Bar, 39 Boat Quay
6pm - late
S$30

FCCS Networking Party (French Chamber of Commerce in Singapore)
Bar Nebula
ONE°15 Marina Club - Bar Nebula, #01-01, 11 Cove Drive, Sentosa Cove
7pm - 9pm
RSVP

‘MEF Connects’ Networking Party @ CommunicAsia 2009
Le Carillon @ 41 Robertson Quay . 2nd Floor, Singapore Tyler Print Institute
7.30pm onwards
RSVP

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Press Conference: Java Fragmentation, an Update: June 2, 3pm

At last year’s JavaOne 2008 conference, representatives from Orange, Sony Ericsson, and Sun made a commitment to address Java ME fragmentation. During a press conference being held on Tuesday, June 2 from 3:00 – 4:00pm at JavaOne 2009, executives from these companies will provide an update on the progress made to-date and announce new initiatives designed to further address important fragmentation issues. A press release will be issued in conjunction with this event. We wanted to give you a heads-up about the press conference and extend an invitation for you to attend.

Press Conference: Java Fragmentation, an Update
Date: Tuesday, June 2
Time: 3:00 - 4:00pm US PT
Location: Room 276, West Mezzanine

Participants:

Martin Wrigley
Chair of UTI, Director of Technology, Orange Partner Program

Carl-Eric Mols
Director; Marketing, Communications Software, Sony Ericsson

Simon Nicholson
Director, Operator Engagement, Client Software Group, Sun Microsystems

For further information contact:
Russ DeVeau
Twitter - javaruss

If you are unable to attend the session but are interested in the news, Java ME executives are available for news pre-briefings (under embargo until June 2 @ 3:30pm US PT) either tomorrow, Friday (May 29) or next Monday (June 1) at the conference. Give a shout if Russ can set-up a meeting, or provide more information. We hope to see you there.

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