Archive for the 'predictions' Category

Getjar unfolded! - Interview with Patrick Mork

On the 14th of January, just a few days after CES, I interviewed Patrick Mork VP of Marketing at GetJar, talking about the appstore boom at CES, the notion of openness in the appstore world, and the latest developer portal Getjar are launching.  So here’s a quick summary in words… but also the overall interview is available as a podcast, this is the first time we’re experimenting with audio so let us know what you think of it!

Download the whole podcast: podcast2

WIP: CES has seen the launch of numerous appstores (as a reminder the AT&T AppCenter, Samsung Apps TV, Intel AppUp, YourAppshop) do you think the future of  appstores lies in an increasing number of them  in 2010?

Patrick Mork

Patrick: The future of appstores is a bit like throwing a rock in the air, it will likely come and crash down! There’s a rush towards appstores at the moment following the Apple success and the failure of operators in the content space. Runn

ing an appstore is difficult and I predict a majority of them will die in the coming 12 months. Major difficulties in running an appstore lie in the ability to source good content and the ability to control the quality of the content.

Getjar CEO Ilja Laurs predicted that the future of appstore

would be in openness(slide 14). Is this something you’re acting on already?

Openness is about offering consumers the best possible experience. It should be about offering the application that was developed by the person with the best capability to write the content, not necessarily  the company who own and control the appstores. An open ecosystem is about having no barriers in terms of what content gets uploaded on Getjar and not forbidding a browser to be uploaded because there’s already a browser there   :D . Having said that Getjar is very mindful of protecting brands and developers as well as ensuring decency and integrity of content for end users but we do not want to play the role of king makers amongst developers we want to give end-users the choice.

A few other things we do is we do not enforce signing, we do not limit the number of updates, fast and guarant


eed submission time (48 hours)

Getjar recommendations are based on user recommendations and advertising, where does openness fit into this?

Openness can be seen in the fact that recommendations by end-users are the main drivers rather than a skewed recommendation based on a limited number of applications present in your store .

Obviously the recommendation algorithm, (based on reviews, downloads and rating) is not public, there are limit to openness. The second operating principle is advertising which is critical to give developers the chance to promote their apps, in this sense we’re unique not only because we allow promotion but also because the promotion is performance based on a pay per download basis.

So apps are free on GetJar today and on top of that I need to pay for advertising… so how I do I make money?

There’s a misconception in the market today that free means no money, there are quite a few examples there, Opera Mini (paid paid by Google for the search traffic they drive), Flirtomatic (virtual gifts) or games publishers putting free applications on GetJar and selling premium versions of their applications.

The paid for apps model we see as not being the most successful one. The statistics by Flurry  published a few month back shows that the average iPhone apps made $7500 on the appstore, it’s just not enough to make a living.

We shouldn’t forget that monetizing content on mobile is an industry challenge not just a challenge for GetJar. If you compare this with the Facebook economy there hasn’t been a single example in mobile of a developer growing to a multimillion dollar business and making an exit, when Playfish did.

Having said that Getjar will introduce paid for apps in the second half of the year in US and UK (interesting news!!)

Analytics and sharing of information seems to be key to allow developers to make the right development, pricing and distribution choices. How do you position yourself on Analytics?

GetJar developer portal

The new GetJar developer portal (I loved it!)

Analytics are a feature that Getjar provides increasingly more to developers through our new developer portal. Getjar now allows developer to see not only how many downloads you have per country, per device, per operating system but also to compare it with an average of all the applications on Getjar! Getjar also makes available trending on a per device basis and per operating system basis to allow developers to port their apps to new platforms. More importantly we provide opportunity mapping telling you the opportunity you could generate if you were present on certain handsets!You can also see top 20 apps per download per preceding day and week per country!

We believe this is pretty unique and we’d be glad to get feedback during the WIPJam session at MWC.

We will start organizing a weekly series of webinar Getjar to help developers access and use this functionality, and sharing our knowledge around using Getjar to promote your app.

What about malware? (this was recorded just after malware was reported on Android)

Smartphones are more associated with malware and with their current rise the the rise of malware is almost unavoidable.

Appstores are all about balance, ensuring fast approval AND quality insurance.. and this is a difficult balance to reach. At Getjar we guarantee that your app will be on Getjar 48 hours after submission (or at least to get a response) AND we try to maintain quality standards from this perspective we’re pretty unique among Android Market being fast (24 hours) and low quality on one side and Apple Appstore being slow (up to 7 months) and high quality on the other side.

Top countries for January 2010 downloads on Getjar

Country Current Period Previous Period Trend
Indonesia 14,454,167 13,736,562 5%
India 8,661,600 7,774,230 11%
United States 4,817,565 3,815,531 26%
United Kingdom 1,356,746 1,400,482 3%
Egypt 1,280,035 1,216,057 5%
South Africa 1,263,530 1,240,341 2%
Viet Nam 742,146 824,177 10%
Bangladesh 707,025 687,147 3%
Pakistan 691,005 632,533 9%
Turkey 659,932 455,913 45%

GetJar has traditionally been associated with Java devices is the rise of smartphones a bad thing for you?

GetJar stands for APPSOLUTELY EVERYTHING so we’re targeting all handsets wether Java platforms or smartphones.  Developers however shouldn’t forget that Java devices continue to be the majority of phones in the market and the only way for developers to be financially successful is to be cross-platform.

The positive news for developers with the increasing awareness of mobile apps is that it has had a hugely positive impact on the sales of apps on feature phones. As an example we now do about 50 M downloads a month compared to 14 M a year ago, with 50% of business still on Java phones. The US in particular has grown from nowhere on our top list to being number 3 in our download figures, developing markets like India and Indonesia have also grown 2 to 3 times faster than the US market. 25% of our North American consumers download content once a day, and globally the figure goes up to 36%.

Apps Apps Apps so what about the Mobile web, how does it play in your strategy?

Among Getjar users mobile usage we predicted the rise of the mobile web. In a survey done a year ago we saw that 65% of users were using their mobile more than their PC to access the web. We do encourage  mobile web development as we recognize it as a way to overcome platform fragmentation That’s why we introduced mobile  site shortcuts a year back, an icon that’s been downloaded onto the end-user phone and appears as an app even though it’s only a link back to a website. It allows developers to cut on developement costs. Mobile site shortcuts are now 10% of our traffic. Facebook for example  using this has 31M downloads on GetJar twice the amount of they’ve have done on iTunes!

PS: Obviously you’ll notice my somewhat hesitant pace… for my excuse I wasn’t drunk but just interviewing someone at 1AM my time after a flight ordeal…

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Carnival of Mobilists #205

2010 made of sparks and fireworksThe first Carnival of this new decade is hosted by Ernst Doku at Omio, a major mobile phone comparison site, who makes his debut today. This week’s offerings include: Chetan Surma’s expansive and comprehensive survey of mobile industry predictions for 2010, as well as a brilliant wrap-up of the previous decade; Alexei Polyakov’s in-depth report on the state of mobile social networking in Japan and many more. Happy mobile reading!

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2010 Predictions for Mobile Developers

This year you are in for a double dose of Predictions for Mobile Developers, as Thibaut and Caroline team up with their views.

Swami Thibaut Rouffinuea weighs in on 2010Thibaut Rouffineau, based in London,UK is up first:

Predictions tend to be of this Nostradamus type that are not measurable and quantifiable… So let’s try to give actual measures and verifiable facts. Even if it means that each of them can be influenced … but isn’t it the goal too :D
So here we go for our 2010 predictions:

  • Android saves Google in Europe in the face of increasing legal & regulatory pressures.

Google will start the year with even more trouble on their hands in Europe with an increasing number of issues raised by European governments and regulatory bodies. Android will be at the forefront of their defense, as a proof that they are encouraging competition rather than stifling it. This can only and should  be accompanied with a relaxed approach to the way Google and the OHA manage Android throughout 2010.

  • Android becomes the de facto standard for enterprise application and devices

Android is cheap to own, cheap to port, easy to develop for, available in all sorts of form factors, and has an increasingly large workforce available… For these reasons lagging enterprise mobile IT sees a revival through Android as it ticks for the consumer needs (Unlike Windows) and the enterprise needs (Unlike Apple).

  • The mobile developer / marketing scene reorganizes

With mobile marketing taking front stage in 2010 the whole developer / agency / operator ecosystem will feel the need to reorganise to provide more transparency and proof points concerning its efficiency, increase the visibility and management of  data driven activities, to address the shortage of developer skills. The reorganization is likely to see the growth of operator and OEM based mobile marketing agency services.

  • Increasing importance of security and identity providers

I was really impressed to hear a number of regulators at the latest ITU World Conference comment that cybersecurity was their number one concern at present. This concern is matched by an increasing need for cross platform identity requirements such as mobile banking, social media, enterprise and e/m-commerce. This somewhat “unsexy” field is therefore bound to grow in importance in 2010 with mobile operator, social network providers, e/m-commerce players, cloud computing providers all fighting head-on to offer the service.

  • The first mobile application developed on a mobile device or netbook is published

With the increasing computing power of palmable devices (handheld and MID), the universalisation of development tools, we’re bound to see our first mobile apps developed exclusively on these devices. The origin is more likely to be from Asia or Africa but no doubt others will jump to the challenge.

Sage Caroline channels mobile developer predictionsCaroline Lewko’s (Vancouver, Canada) turn on 2010 Predictions:

2009 was a tough and tumultuous year in mobile development.  The economic downturn saw lots of layoffs, a tough environment to raise funds, and lower turnout out at the big tradeshows.  But despite these negatives, the mobile industry continued to grow, we saw new devices like the Palm Pre and the Motorola Droid; new platforms like Samsung’s Bada; lots of new Appstores (see Thibaut’s blog  below); and a growing love of mobile by consumers and developers.

So what’s ahead for 2010????

1.  More Android - here an Android, there an Android, everywhere an Android….

Google has done such a cracker jack job of cozying up to all the major mobile operators around the world; and with most device OEMs signed up as well, expect to see more Android phones released.   Android is going to be everywhere.

2.  More BlackBerryleading the party

I don’t agree with Thibaut’s prediction on Android becoming the de facto enterprise development standard.  BlackBerry still has a strong foothold in the enterprise space and there are many of us still holding tightly onto our crackberries.  Watch BlackBerry this year – I think you’ll see them everywhere too.  RIM is stepping up to the plate and becoming less Canadian, spending lots of money on a full-on promotional campaigns and sponsorships to both developers and consumers.  Expect big showings at CES and MWC.

3.  Less iPhoneconsumers get ‘smarter’ about Kleenex

So, last November in San Francisco I grabbed a cab to take me to  the Marriott, here was our conversation:

CLL:  Please take me to the Marriott on Fourth Ave
Cabbie:  Oh, you must be going to the BlackBerry conference
CLL:  I am, you really know what’s going on!
Cabbie:  Of course – that’s where they are talking about making cool stuff for the iPhones.
CLL:  ah, no….. and then I went into an explanation on how the iPhone is just a brand name and doesn’t represent all smart phones and cool applications

iPhone has become a genericized trademark. Given the increase in marketing for Android, BlackBerry and other handsets; and the striated distribution of the iPhone away from exclusivity; I think consumers are going to gain better understanding of the variety of smart phones with ‘cool stuff’ that is available with other really great trademarks!

4.  More Application Innovation just say Aaaaa PIs

Applications sure proliferated last year, and certainly there were lots of creative and useful applications.  However, the only truly interesting innovation was in Augmented Reality. Expect to see more AR applications this year – see Lester Madden’s Augmented Planet for the best information on AR platforms and applications.

WOW - more innovative mobile apps are coming! I believe 2010 will be a year where we get back to innovation again, the stuff that makes us go WOW. Here’s why:  investment is starting to flow again; a lot of new developers have tested themselves on the iPhone and are ready for something more to test their skills; access to operator APIs are getting easier thanks to the work of companies like Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson; other platform APIs are going prime time; there are lots of great cross platform development resources out now; and other platforms like Java in the form of MIDP3 is gaining new capabilities.  It means lots of opportunities to be creative; and more resources to streamline development.  I can’t wait to see what developers come up with!

Thanks to Teresa Ostman our resident expert on events, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention 4G as another technology to watch in 2010.  She is seeing a steady increase in LTE and WiMAX event worldwide.  With implementation of LTE and WiMax on the rise,  these will likely lead to additional innovation in app development too.

New Year’s Resolutions for Mobile Developers:

As last year  - continue to follow the money.  All these great new opportunities also continue to add to fragmentation, so smart decisions still need to be made in order to find success.  Check out the WIP Wiki Resources for some companies and tools that may be able to speed up your development.

Interested to see how we did with our previous predictions (not to bad actually!), check these out:  2009 2008 and 2007.

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Carnival of Mobilists #202

This week, the Carnival is hosted by Mobile Strategy where you will find thought-provoking pieces, inside scoops, tough questions and overall interesting posts on a variety of topics. Included is an interview that our Wipster Thibaut conducted with Victor Shaburov, the CEO of Handster, a company that provides a mobile appstore and specializes in white label appstores for OEM and Operators.

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Carnival of Mobilists #199

iguanaThis week the Carnival stops at the new-look Mobileslate, where host Eric Chan takes the helm. The eclectic collection of posts includes a closer look at app stores (facts, figures and payment mechanisms) and a welcome deep-dive into key mobile market figures from Chetan Sharma.

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What future for the mobile phone in a multi-platform world?

Customer journeys, such as finding new music or communicating with friends, no longer take place within the confines of a single device or service. Users may combine several devices or applications to achieve their objectives, creating a new set of challenges when designing user experiences which excel in this multi-platform environment. This essay brings together 5 of the leading thinkers in digital industry to explore the concept of multi-platform mobile user experience ahead of a major new MEX conference (2nd/3rd December 2009, London) on this same theme.

By Marek Pawlowski (PMN), Thibaut Rouffineau (Wireless Industry Partnership), Lisa Whelan (, Andreas Constantinou (VisionMobile) and Matt Lewis (ARCChart).

Marek Pawlowski, Editorial Director at PMN and founder of the MEX ConferenceMarek Pawlowski, Editorial Director at PMN and founder of the MEX Conference, begins by examining the role of the mobile phone in a future of multi-platform experiences:

There is an old cliche rolled out time and again at mobile industry conferences: “You never leave your house without your wallet, keys…and mobile phone.” It is, of course, meant to remind us how indispensable handsets have become to our daily lives (and, perhaps, by extension, reassure all those in the mobile industry that, not only are their jobs secure, but they are meaningfully engaged in providing a significant service to humanity!).

A recent BBC documentary about the lifecycle of mobiles (’The Life and Death of a Mobile Phone‘, BBC4, 5th October 2009) provided an insight into just how attached users have become to their phones, with many of the people interviewed confessing to never turning off their handset - even when they were asleep - and never letting it leave their sight. The level of attachment exhibited by the interview subjects was quite remarkable.

This places the mobile phone in an interesting position. By virtue of its ubiquity, it is the digital device we spend the most time with every day and the one we are most likely to trust and respond to. What then will be the role of the mobile phone in tying together the myriad digital platforms which fill our lives?

The number of digital assets and devices owned by the average human is growing daily. The volume of emails, texts, videos, photos and music files to which each individual can lay claim is exploding. So too is the number of places we store this information. If we look just at one type of data - say, photos - we find that an average individual may have a collection of photos on their camera phone, as well as several albums downloaded to their PC from their digital camera. If they’re truly at the cutting edge, they may even have some images stored on a network-attached storage (NAS) device and beamed wirelessly to digital photo frames around their house. The same scenario of multiple storage locations and multiple access devices is also true of other data types, from email messages to videos.

This model is both unsustainable and undesirable for the human mind. The complexity of keeping track of where we have stored what and how best we can access it will lead to an apathy induced by our natural fear of cognitive effort. We are already starting to see the first signs of this as digital pioneers, those who have led the charge into a world of multiple social networking accounts, PCs, MP3 players, consoles and phones, start to kick-back against the information overload they have brought upon themselves. When we undertook research with more than 700 people in digital industry during the planning stages for our next MEX Conference (2nd/3rd December 2009), it was eye-opening to hear how many people working in the technology business feel overwhelmed by the very devices they have themselves created.

As an industry which has developed the phone - the most widespread computing and communications device in this multi-platform future - the mobile business has a responsibility to sit in the driving seat of delivering great user experience across all of the digital platforms in our lives. Crucially, the industry faces the challenge of combining the diverse range of devices in users’ lives - from PC to phone to interactive TV - into an experience genuinely greater than the sum of its parts.

Thibaut Rouffineau of the Wireless Industry Partnership (WIP)Thibaut Rouffineau of the Wireless Industry Partnership (WIP), picks up the story and suggests possible strategies the mobile industry may adopt for delivering multi-platform services:

The rush of the mobile industry towards ’services’ rather than devices is a clear indicator of the solution most feel will become the glue between the devices, hoping for a good old style horizontal integration to solve the fragmentation.

Based on previous examples, the type of services to be offered are pretty obvious: single identity and single sign-on valid across all devices, universal storage to synch-up all devices and storage media, billing platform for universal one click payment, universal recommendation and preference engine.

Unfortunately the mobile industry has rather poor track records when it comes to reducing fragmentation, whether horizontally or vertically.

It basically knows 2 models: ‘king making’ and the operator association

King making is quite simple, the number one player in the space acquires or adopts a technology and sways the balance in the ‘right’ direction; for example, cameras, GPS and navigation. Simple but more and more difficult as the industry becomes more and more competitive, furthermore there is no killer technology to be adopted today that would solve the problem.

The operator association approach (e.g. UMTS Forum or GSMA) is pretty good at getting all to walk in the ‘correct and unified direction’, but the time involved, the size of the issue, the number of solutions to explore and the club approach would make such an association impossible.

And thus it’s no surprise to any observer of things mobile that most disruptions (or chasm crossings) in the past few years have come from outside the mobile world: Apple for touchscreen and application purchase, Google for open source & mobile cloud services. It thus appears, based on past analysis, that the only credible way forward is the arrival of a new player in the market to solve this issue.

So what kind of new player could this be…

  1. A vertical player moving out its niche… The name Apple obviously jumps to mind as a company which will solve this fragmentation challenge for you if you can pay the price to buy the entire Jobsfolio of ‘i-catching’ products. Can Apple now go mainstream with more than the iPod and the iPhone? Let’s not doubt it.
  2. A horizontal web service player extending into mobile… This sounds like a familiar reality called Google. In an industry known for its ability to constantly fragment and micro-segment, doubts are possible but isn’t Google too big to fail?
  3. A new universal remote control provider using a phone-type device… Previous attempts in TV / VCR / PDAs have shown the limits of this model relying on massive testing by the supplier, long set-up by the user and the general failure to encompass the variety of environment one interacts with.
  4. A neuro-controlled headset controlling standard interfaces on various devices… Hardware is now available from Emotiv for those willing to try…definitely promising.
  5. An identity service provider able to aggregate little by little all individual preferences, behaviors and automate activities such as payment, authentication etc in a secure way. An option sought after by many.
  6. A new digital ad agency specializing in multi-screen media buy. Once again, a sought after option…

However the past is not always a good adviser for the future…another famous saying at conferences!.

In a time of personalisation and increased multi-tasking, vertical or horizontal integration might not be the best way to deal with fragmentation anymore. Rather we could look to a world of standards, where defragmentation or user experience creation is a personal matter rather than an industry matter; where each individual is both in charge and empowered to make their own choices around what matters and what doesn’t; what they want to explore in its complexity and what they only want to deal with at a superficial level. From this perspective the industry winners will be those who can embed in their products standards, co-creation, a notion of variable complexity and the necessary need for multi-platform.

Lisa Whelan, founder of SocializeMobilize.comLisa Whelan, founder of and a business development, strategy and marketing consultant, delves deeper into what multi-channel services mean for user psychology and the desire for simplicity:

At the crux of this challenge for the mobile industry is finding a way to proactively address consumers’ needs, without overwhelming consumers with choice. Different people have different needs. And, yet presenting users with too much choice isn’t necessarily a good thing, nor is it even particularly advantageous to mobile companies.

From a user’s perspective, choice often means complication, and in the eyes of the consumer, simple often wins out over complex - even when it means fewer features.

As humans, we like the ‘idea’ of choice, but we often find it difficult to make decisions when were offered too much choice (a state known as ‘analysis paralysis’). In theory, more choice should be a good thing for consumers, but when it comes to mobile technology, I believe users buy a phone to reduce the complication in their life - not add to it.

When it comes to mobile phones, as long as our basic needs are addressed, most of us are happy - even if we aren’t offered a huge amount of choice about how that happens. By ‘basic’, I mean being able to communicate and share, be it through voice calls, emails, or social networks, organize (calendar), and to a lesser extent, be entertained, on the go, for an adequate period of time (i.e. long battery life). The rest is gravy.

Take for example the Palm, Inc. (at the time, PalmOne) vs. RIM battle of the early to mid 2000s. The Palm Treo could run thousands of applications - including a handful of 3rd party push email clients (Good, Seven, Visto and more). In contrast, RIM offered fewer mobile applications for the Blackberry and one push email client - it’s own, pre-loaded client. Which company ultimately saw better uptake of push email and remains one of the leading OEMs? RIM. In retrospect, it seems that Palm may have offered its users too many choices, rather than recommending a single push email app that executed well. The result was consumer ‘analysis paralysis’ and increased market fragmentation.

Take as another example the iPhone. Unconfirmed reports estimate the total number of applications on the Apple App Store at 100,000, but how many of those 100,000 applications are being downloaded more than 6 weeks after their initial release? Most of the developers I know are saying that the average app life cycle is just 4 to 6 weeks without a product refresh. Only a few apps continue to be popular after their initial launch, leading me to believe there are only a few apps that people consistently find they ‘need’.

According to research conducted by mobile analytics vendor Flurry, over a 90 day period, the apps used most frequently and for the longest period of time immediately after download fell into one of four categories - from lowest to highest - health and fitness, weather, reference and news. In contrast, entertainment, social networking, travel and sports apps were used the least frequently and were rarely used past 45 days.

So, what then will be the role of the mobile phone in tying together the myriad digital platforms that fill our lives? It all depends on which digital platforms become the most essential to consumers over time. If a large enough group of consumers decide that they need access to a specific group of digital mediums from their mobile phone, the growing eco-system of software developers will respond organically. As app store owners continue to improve merchandising, discovery, and behavioral targeting, more and more, consumers will be shown the apps and services that most effectively address their specific needs, rather than being burdened with too many choices.

Matt Lewis, Managing Director at mobile industry analysis firm ARCChartMatt Lewis, Managing Director at mobile industry analysis firm ARCChart, discusses what the architecture might look like for multi-platform services and expands on the role of the next generation address book in tying it all together:

At the heart of any strategy to improve the user experience in a multi-device paradigm sits the mobile cloud. While the term ‘cloud’ is a relatively new addition to the industry vernacular, it’s easy to understand the concept it references.

The range of devices and services with which users now engage often store information remotely, off-device. In essence, the cloud simply refers to the off-device storage of this information on a remotely located server, which can be tapped into with a variety of front-end applications - a browser, widget, dedicated app, picture frame or any client providing a window into the information and allowing data to be added, edited and removed.

Photos provide a simple example of the mobile cloud. Several digital cameras on the market now have the capability to automatically upload photographs directly to photo sharing sites like Flickr, using the camera’s embedded Wi-Fi capability. The user may then access these photos on their PC through a browser; or on their phone through a dedicated application (which may offer rich photo editing features); or their laptop screensaver maybe be configured to run a slideshow of the images held in their photo sharing account. All these devices and applications are accessing content by simply tapping into the cloud.

The cloud has grown organically and the approach to storing and accessing the data is more or less specific to each content/service provider. However, it is conceivable that as cloud services become more engrained, and consumers demand the ability to export and share files and media between different providers, the industry will move towards a more structured approach, defining specific storage, access and synchronisation standards. SyncML is one standard which already exists and which may evolve to address the entire cloud.

SyncML is commonly viewed as a method to synchronise contact and calendar information and the migration of the phonebook off the phone and into the cloud will perhaps be one of the most important user experience boosts in the multi-platform world - this is the advent of the Phonebook 2.0.

User are gradually becoming overwhelmed by the number of disparate lists of contacts, or phonebooks, they are now managing. A quick count of my own phonebooks shows the tally is eight:

  1. Mobile phone (on-device)
  2. Corporate phonebook
  3. Email address book
  4. Facebook
  5. LinkedIn
  6. Windows Messenger
  7. Skype
  8. Twitter

Throw in a couple more social networks or IM communities and it’s easy to see how some users are juggling in excess of ten separate phonebooks, and the number is expected to grow as more services promote the sharing of content within and across communities. Often, individual contacts are repeated across several phonebooks - for example, a close friend is likely to appear in the contact list on the phone, Facebook, LinkedIn, Messenger, Skype and Twitter. The same person is repeated in all phonebooks as if each instance is a unique contact.

All these services already exist in the cloud, in that they are accessible remotely from different devices and applications and can be updated and edited from each. The problem is that each phonebook exist as a separate silo.

The objective of the phonebook 2.0 is to aggregate all these disparate contact lists within the cloud, providing a single window into a user’s entire phonebook portfolio. The phonebook 2.0 identifies repeated individuals and amalgamates their credentials from each service into a single phonebook entry, providing a one-stop view.

It is easy to see how such an approach not only enriches the user experience by greatly simplifying contact management, but the aggregated information is of far greater value than in its disparate format

Take, for example, presence. Many social and IM networks provide an indication of presence, showing the real-time status of an individual in terms of their usage of the service (online, offline, away etc.). Aggregated in phonebook 2.0, presence supplies more granular information, identifying the services on which someone can, or cannot, be reached. Add to that a location facility, and the value of phonebook 2.0 ratchets up another notch. As social networks roll-out location tracking features to their users, the aggregated phonebook will become a vital tool for engaging with professional and social communities based on geography.

The question now becomes: who will become the phonebook gatekeeper, provisioning the aggregated phonebook service to end users? Will it be carriers, the handset makers or OS providers; or will it be the social networks or portal players like Google and Yahoo? Or will an independent third-party spot the opportunity?

Andreas Constantinou, Research Director and founder of VisionMobileAndreas Constantinou, Research Director and founder of VisionMobile, explains how multi-platform services will need a deep understanding of users’ total context and behaviour:

Information overload will necessitate more than filtering or search; intelligent, contextually relevant recommendations that take into account our long term habits and our short term topics of interest, to suggest information, music, events or activities which are relevant. Beyond recommendation, new forms of communication will allow us to interact with many more people in the same space of time - forms of communication that are today unimaginable, in the same way that Twitter and Google Wave were unimaginable 5 years ago.

What do you think? We’d love to hear your views on this essay and you can help to advance the debate on multi-platform user experience by contributing a comment to the blog.

For further reading…

  1. The MEX Manifesto & Conference for Enhancing Mobile User Experience in a Multi-platform World
  2. Mobile User Experience blog
  3. Wireless Industry Partnership blog
  4. blog
  5. ARCChart’s Rethink newsletter
  6. VisionMobile Blog

Twitter links for the authors…

  1. @marekpawlowski (Marek Pawlowski)
  2. @campbieil (Thibaut Rouffineau)
  3. @lisawhelan (Lisa Whelan)
  4. @andreascon (Andreas Constantinou)

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The NAVTEQ LBS Challenge is OPEN

WIP is pleased to announce a Marketing Partners with the Navteq LBS Challenge.

The NAVTEQ Global LBS Challenge is open - Register Now!

Enter your location-enabled app and you could win a share of a $10 million global prize pool

The NAVTEQ Global LBS Challenge is the premier competition in the wireless industry, inviting developers to build innovative location-based services (LBS) apps using NAVTEQ digital maps. Register now at

Why should I enter?

More exposure for your application:
Get the invaluable exposure needed to launch your app. Over 32% of post Global LBS Challenge finalists have received venture capital funding or launched commercially-distributed applications.
More prizes to win:
The global prize pool for this year’s competition starts at a record $8.2 million USD in cash and licenses and is expected to grow. In addition, a number of special recognition awards will be given in different categories.
More platforms and devices to target:
Contestants may now submit their pre-commercialized location-based applications for any platform and for any device, using NAVTEQ map data.

Registration is open for all regions.

Stop dreaming and START developing the next great LBS solution. Map out your future and get into the fast lane.

Registration Deadlines:
EMEA: November 6, 2009 (extended)
North America: November 20, 2009
India: December 11, 2009
South America: February 12, 2010
APAC: March 5, 2010

For official rules, key dates, and to register go to

WIP is pleased to partner with Developer Events, Mobile Conferences and Contests all over the word. Please see our wip connector event’s page for more events.

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Carnival of Mobilists #197

The Tamoggemon Content team treats us to an assortment of posts with a special emphasis on mobile marketing, mobile infrastructure and a welcome progress report on the WikiMobilePedia. It includes an article by mjelly entitled iphone appstore SEO - 12 ways to improve your iphone app ranking. A good read for all who are or will be selling applications on a carrier or device manufacturer store.

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#156 Carnival of the Mobilists: WAP Review

It’s Carnival time again! This week’s Carnival is from one of our favourites, the WAP Review. Dennis includes some predictions for 2009 (including ours), and lots of goodies about software, UI, marketing strategy and some updates on upcoming events! It’s definitely a good time for mobilists. Check it out here.

Next week will be mjelly.

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2009 Predictions for Mobile and Wireless Developers

How can you tell the holiday is over? Conferences have started again ala CES, and the phone and emails are on full throttle.  Do any of you use the current thinking about only taking calls/emails at 2 designated times during the day?  Does it really work?  
January is traditionally a time for annual predictions.  I have been on the fence whether to weigh in this year as there are many good predications around such as Rudy’s or from Carlo and Russell’s Mob Happy, and I didn’t want to repeat anything, but if there is something that needs to be emphasized, then that’s just the way it is!  So here they are:
1.  Tough times ahead.
I reported in my June newsletter that VC’s weren’t funding, especially carrier related deals.  Rutberg’s newsletter just came out and declared that the second half of 2008 was the lowest level of VC funding since 2003.  I agree with Rudy that I too am going to see at least 10 companies that I know well go under.  It started with Trutap, that I had the absolute pleasure of being on the board for the last year, and may end with the Motorola device group, which we all know has been struggling.  Assume no one is immune.

NY’s Resolution for Developers:  Those with low overhead will likely end up the winners when we come out of this economic wind tunnel.  And absolutely those who are best connected get the furthest ahead (Hint: ask Arv  about the WIP Connector Quiz to see how you fare).
2.  ‘Access’ will be the new ‘Open’.  (as Twitter is the new black)
The industry is tired of hearing about Open - it has caused confusion to what open source really is and what open is really not. There is no honour in claiming open any more.   I think the industry finally understands that, so will talk about ‘access’; to more operator APIs, access to more customers through beta sandboxes, and app stores to make it easier for developers to innovate and sell. 

NY’s Resolution for Developers: Follow the money.  Make careful choices about working with new platforms with the end goal of being profitable, not just cool. But hey, if you can make $1M making a bodily function application - go for it!
3.  Less US Centric
Perhaps it’s due to where I’m based, but my industry news and the focus of most developers I know is solidly the US as #1, with Europe slowly following behind and anything else a place only for exotic vacations.  With the US reeling from the economic distress, Europe reaching mobile handset saturation, China and India finally turning on the 3G engines, eyes will turn to emerging markets for business. I sure saw a lot of great developes in Brazil last month. Of course, we all are in love with Obama, but it sounds like he too has a much broader perspective than previous administrations.

NY’s Resolution for Developers: Be smart about planning for and entering new markets.  Plan ahead for obvious things like usability and language differences, but do your homework on market needs (enterprise is bigger in many of these markets) and distribution is different too.
4.  Fragmentation by any other name is still…..
I’ve been commenting on fragmentation every year, and I only see signs of its increase.  In addition to the major OS platforms, we now have more development platforms, more browsers, more app stores, and more devices (40+ Adroid devices alone coming this year, and the new Palm Pre just announced). Porting and backfilling is still wasting 40-50% of a developer’s time.  Another 20-30% is going to be wasted in gaining access to app stores, which still have discovery issues.  What’s left for innovation and development?

NY’s Resolution for Developers:  Find positive ways to be vocal about how fragmentation is affecting your ability to be innovative such as contributing to OMTP’s BONDI initiative that is identifying standards for the mobile web.  And don’t forget about marketing, more app stores does not mean you don’t have to do any work, in fact you should be honing up on your marketing.

Your comments or addition are always welcome!
Interested in 2008 predictions - find them here. I did pretty well, except predicting that someone will finally get local search right… perhaps this year. And 2007 which was really good, especially prediciting the rise in developers can be found here.

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