Archive for the 'wireless' Category

Qualcomm’s Tips on How to Engage the Mobile Consumer

Mitch Oliver Qualcomm

Leading up to our WIPJam, Day for Developers, on February 18th at MWC, we have asked a number of our WIPJam sponsors to write articles for our readers. This week, Qualcomm’s submission is provided by Mitch Oliver, Vice President of Ecosystem Development, Qualcomm Incorporated.

Five Ways to Engage the Mobile Consumer

Consumers have an expectation of control over their content. This paradigm is well established from their desktop experience, and will undoubtedly extend into mobile. Fueled by the prospect of ubiquitous connectivity and increasingly powerful networks, the always connected consumer has the opportunity to be in command of their own experience.

To a consumer, network and device barriers should be irrelevant. To engage them you must consider their content experience holistically, including but not limited to your mobile offering. Your best strategy for differentiation is to integrate your content into their overall experience – only then can you establish loyalty and build an ongoing relationship.

Here are five ways you can make that happen:

1. Create companion content to reinforce loyalty that has already been established. It isn’t always practical to simply replicate an experience for a mobile device. You must serve form to function, allowing users to engage appropriately depending on their current touch point. For example: Watching a reality show on TV, voting online and then keeping up with the participants via a mobile fan application.

2. Make the experience available across multiple screens. Mobility should be truly liberating for the consumer, and this is only possible when their content is available anytime, anywhere. For example: If someone rents a movie on their TV, they shouldn’t have to wait until they get home to finish watching it. That experience should be ready to pick-up where they left off on any connected device.

3. Partner with operators to take advantage of their assets. Operators have a pivotal role in the value chain. Operators spend billions of dollars a year to ensure the quality of their networks – they have value to add to the consumer experience. Operators know their networks and their subscribers — information that can be leveraged to make the experience both contextually relevant and personal.

4. Get your content in front of the right consumers. So many companies are racing to increase the number of applications they offer, but what good is it if consumers are just lost in a sea of content? By uniting their respective expertise operators and developers have the opportunity to deliver exactly what each consumer demands. They can work together to tailor each consumer’s experience, making it meaningful and worthwhile for the individual.

5. Maintain an ongoing relationship, not just a one-time sale. Because content is what really matters to the consumer, developers and brands are in the best position to own the consumer relationship. Use the approaches above as a means to establish a continuing dialog with your key customers.

To learn more about how you can create a better experience for consumers, visit Qualcomm’s ‘Presentation Patio’ within App Planet at Mobile World Congress – Hall 7, Booth C37

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Carnival of Mobilists #208

Antoine J Wright brings us this week’s Carnival. There are some great articles as always! Check out the submission from MobiThinking on how soccer clubs use mobile to engage fans! Very cool! The Vision Mobile blog on the Smartphone Craze is worth a read! Another interesting read is the blog from Ajit Jaokar on th meaning of mobile to younger users!

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Webify my apps?

As a preparation for our discussion group for WIPJam at Mobile World Congress on Getting Cool content from the Cloud, and to follow up on the various discussions on the mobile web we have invited Malik Saadi from Informa to share some of his views and thoughts based on his report Mobile Web Application Developement. In this article Malik explains how the emergence of a fragmented smartphonosphere will make native development incredibly more difficult to scale and thus less and less economically viable and why mobile web development might be the savior for developers and brands alike looking to target larger audiences.

Malik Saadi Informa

Malik Saadi Principal Analyst Informa

Mobile cloud computing will shift applications development to the Web

Despite the proliferation of smartphones and efforts of promoting native development and runtime platforms, Web-based services are emerging as cost-effective challengers that could take application runtime to the Web environment. Not only will this allow the development of cheaper and advanced applications, but it could also shift computing resources and their management from the device to the cloud, which could in turn lower the barriers for enabling advanced applications over non-smartphone terminals.

Smartphones are limiting the appetite for applications development

In recent years, the mobile industry has moved from proprietary to open, allowing for continued improvements in device hardware and more innovation at the application level through the creation of developer communities and application distribution mechanisms. This trend has attracted the majority of device vendors and operating system (OS) developers as well as the mobile operators, which are now eager to offer their own branded app store and subsequently an immersive user experience and advanced mobile applications to their customers. As a result, there has been a strong increase in smartphone OS handset shipments, estimated by Informa Telecoms & Media at 216.3 million units in 2009, up 34% on the previous year. By 2014, sales of smartphones will reach 572.5 million units, representing 40% of total handset sales.

This trend is actually encouraging developers to create applications that are targeted at different OSs and native runtime environments. There are many advantages in developing mobile applications natively, including better integration with the device functionality, high-performance, always-available capabilities, and access to greater support from device vendors through the availability of advanced tools and developer programs.

However, there are also many challenges facing native application developers, which include: code complexity, which could affect the cost of the application development and time to market; application portability across a wide range of devices to achieve economies of scale; and restricted application distribution to operators and OEMs’ channels. Moreover, in the case of Apple, application approval has been a contested topic that has alienated several high-profile app developers from Apple’s App Store.

The fragmentation of OSs, user interfaces (UIs) and runtimes and associated developer programs are also likely to hamper any advantage gained from open mobile applications development. Open OS platforms are often differentiated by their level of support to multimedia and graphical capabilities, network connectivity options, input methods and hardware performance. Chipset manufacturers will find it increasingly difficult to maintain a high-performance and enhanced user experience over different platforms and their associated versions because each platform requires a deep integration with the device hardware and a number of optimization cycles are needed to ensure overall system stability and improved performance. Porting an application to several OS platforms is can be a good reason for failure among independent software vendors (ISVs), but is necessary to achieve economies of scale and reach a wide audience.

Palm Ares, mobile web made easy, Yes! universal?

Palm Ares, mobile web made easy, Yes! universal?

In addition, development tools associated with different OSs often lack the cross-platform approach that could enable the developer to write the application once and distribute it across various devices powered by different OSs. Mobile native application developers are stymied by the extreme difficulty of writing mobile apps for multiple OSs, UIs and runtime environments, especially when there is no clear winner and diversity is just increasing with the mushrooming number of app stores. Then there is the challenge of finding the right placement for this content so that it can be discovered easily by the end user.

Native applications developers also need to bear the cost of testing, certification and distribution of their applications. The majority of OEMs, operators and mobile app store (MAS) owners are imposing their own test and certification programs on developers. Testing fees are based on the complexity of the application submitted and are between US$250 and US$4,000 per submission. If the application is meant to run over variety of devices and terminal platforms, the third-party developer pays the full test fee for one device and gets a rebate for testing the same application on a second device. Additional fees might also be required for network-based applications. In addition, different OEMs and operators have different criteria for application testing in their certification programs. Native applications developers need to comply with these additional programs if they want their applications to reach different MASs and operator portals, which translates into additional cost burdens.

Also, an obvious difference between desktop and mobile native applications is mobile connectivity. Compelling applications should make maximum use of the customer’s mobility, from mobile location services through to interactive games. Simply replicating the desktop experience will not be enough to sustain long-term growth; users will not pay for mobile versions of applications that are available either free or nearly-free on their desktop computers.

Widget vs Native appsFor these reasons, generating native applications that address the long tail of consumer requirements and different consumer groups using various OSs and UIs could be cumbersome, costly and time consuming.

The shift to Web runtime and cloud-based services

The mobile Web applications development environment is an emerging alternative to native applications. This shift is best illustrated by the rush of operators and handset vendors to provide their own widget ecosystems which use Web technologies to facilitate mobile applications development and lower the overall development cost. It could also enable mobile operators and vendors to tap into the wealth of the Internet and address their customers with contextual applications that are more relevant to them.

Until recently, a number of barriers prevented Web-based applications and cloud services from gaining ground in the mobile market, including: the cost of connecting to Web services; the low-bandwidth and latency provided by current mobile access technologies; the bad quality and performance of mobile browsers and related Web technologies; and security issues.

Despite their current shortcomings in terms of performance, power consumption, integration and always-on capabilities compared with native applications, Web applications have many advantages including: faster development, time-to-market and monetization; wider distribution channels; and adaptability for cross-platformization.

There are many changes in the mobile market that are likely to shift applications development to the Web including:

  • The accelerating migration towards mobile broadband services.

  • The dramatic improvement in mobile browser solutions and UIs.

  • The advances of Internet transcoding and multimedia transformation.

  • The emergence of widgets and widget runtimes as efficient solutions for easy content discovery.

  • Deep integration of Web services with the device capabilities and features to enable the creation of contextual applications.

In the past year, several trends have crystallized around mobile Web runtime technology which promise to transform mobile Web applications development, distribution, installation, execution and management. A number of new OSs, including Google’s Android and Palm’s webOS, and a number of mobile platforms, including Microsoft’s Silverlight, Nokia Web Runtime, Qualcomm’s Plaza Mobile Internet, Adobe’s AIR, Access Netfront Widget platform and Opera Widgets, are designed with Web connectivity and functionality in mind. The whole idea is to enable the easy transition of applications development from a native environment to the Web environment.

Widget framework comparisonA number of operators, including Vodafone, Orange, T-Mobile, O2, Verizon, AT&T, KDDI, NTT DoCoMo, Softbank and China Mobile, have already developed – or are in the process of developing – widget stores and Web developer programs that will make the development and distribution of Web applications easier and content discovery and management simpler on the mobile screen. For example, the aim of the Joint Innovation Lab (JIL) initiative – founded by Vodafone, China Mobile, Softbank and Verizon – is to stimulate a new generation of mobile Internet applications around which they can build their service plans and value-added services. JIL’s first project is to develop a widget ecosystem with a single point of access to enable developers to tap into the combined customer base of the four JIL operators – estimated at 1.1 billion subscribers.

The trend towards the adoption of the Web as a mobile applications development environment is likely to intensify thanks to both the emergence of mobile cloud computing and the low latency of the next-generation access networks, which include LTE, HSPA+ and WiMAX.

Informa expects the Web to become the new ubiquitous platform for application development as more and more applications move to the cloud and allow users to access their personal information anytime from any device and over any access network. This trend is likely to remove “smartness” from the device to the cloud, which could potentially reduce the burdens of fragmentation that the native development environment suffers from and spur innovation through the involvement of the much wider Web developer community in creating contextual mobile applications. In addition, this trend will help to shift processing and storage resources to the cloud, which means advanced applications could be accessed by more resource-constrained devices. This could in turn widen the addressable market for the cloud applications beyond the smartphone market.

By increasing the reliance of end users on the Web and cloud applications, new business models will emerge and revenues will be diversified from multiple sources that include advertising, network API charges to third-party service providers and the creation of premium services for the enterprise market. In addition, the migration to a Web development environment could increase traffic around hosted services such as e-mail, VoIP, online office, calendar, online gaming and social networking.

Several device vendors have been pre-installing key widgets in their devices but the trend now is to reorient their software platform strategies towards the creation of widget ecosystems for the development, distribution, lifecycle management, discoverability and monetization of widgets and Web applications in general. These applications are generally easy to create, fast to distribute and serve a plethora of niche markets on the Internet.

Tier-1 operators are also realizing the potential of partnering with Web application developers to enable innovation over their networks, reduce costs related to building data services and build service plans around long tail of consumer applications that target different user groups.

The aim of major operators is to move away from pipe services based on flat rates towards the creation of content-based service plans that will enable them to address different consumer groups with relevant real-time contextual applications and services.

Operators that are not experts in mobile data services, notably Mobile 2.0, have now openly admitted that they will not be able to create these services on their own and expect to employ third parties in the value chain to create best-of-breed services with sustainable business models.

In this context, vendors of mobile widget solutions could facilitate the work of operators by enabling them to bridge the gap between the Web and mobile applications development. These vendors already propose a suite of applications that could include a widget player, idle screen replacement, ODP and a white-label application store. These products could be deployed either individually or as part of an end-to-end widget development, distribution, presentation and monetization ecosystem.

Informa’s report Mobile Web Applications Development looks at various solutions for developing Web applications and widgets, their respective deployment scenarios and the different features that could be requested by operators or OEMs that wish to add mobile Internet and branded services through widgets. Obviously, operators and OEMs have different requirements when choosing a mobile widget solution depending on which market segments and regions they want to address and which services they aim to deploy. The report also looks at the role of mobile widgets in providing a rich mobile Internet experience to help operators and OEMs create new service opportunities, increase customer loyalty and extend the value of their brand to new market segments. It includes a comprehensive and detailed analysis of the revenue opportunities and key trends in widget ecosystems, enabling technologies and the challenges facing operators and OEMs in implementing them.

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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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Carnival of Mobilists #198

This week the Carnival comes from MSearchGroove. This collection of posts provides us welcome access to keys lists and industry resources as well as the inside track on what makes one social network such a phenomenal success. The article from Mobile Mandala is quite eye-opening. Mark walks us through some surprising numbers from the source and wakes us up to the wealth of opportunities around giving people who don’t own smartphones a good user experience.

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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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No ppt but loads of ties and panels at ITU

Launch of the App STore Wiki at ITU and CTIA

Launch of the App STore Wiki at ITU and CTIA

Came back from Geneva where I was 2 weeks ago for ITU Telecom World! And haven’t had found to finish this blog… but here it is now! In a self admitted mixed bag of thoughts and things seen.

For those of you who cannot remember ITU Telecom World, it used to be the craziest / biggest / unmissable event in the telecom space! Well of course it was in 1999, we were all going to be wheeling in our personal optical cable behind us to  get our necessary 100M/s dose of “bits”… Now we know better and have realized that carrying a mobile phone is much better than carrying a cable wheel… So the show had to rethink about itself… So the ITU Telecom World now concentrates a lot more on mobile than it has done before moving away from its fixed roots (can one have mobile roots :D ).

So it’s all mobile.. It’s all about cyberPicture 2security…  It’s all about about governance and standards… it’s all about ICT being a key driver for overall economic development especially in times of recession… It’s all about the next 1 Billion users and the deployment of mobile in developing countries… And… a lot of suits, lots of ties and lots of government representatives. (I even had to put a tie on to participate to a videoed Telecom TV debate on the subject on “Show me the Money” available here)

A different crowd then different discussions for sure but still mobile application and services development was at the center of many discussions, as the mobile phone becomes a quasi universal information, communication and computing device. So a lot of attention and demand for application and content providers which was also reflected in the official theme of the conference “open innovation” or more exactly “Open networks, connected minds”. Developers and content providers were praised by all as being the future of the telecom industry and critical to further economic development either through eHealth, sensors, mobile banking. Unfortunately examples of activities, exchanges, lessons learned in the field of open innovation were rather spurious.

WIP on the invitation of NGMN organized a panel to bring in those very practical examples: our objective being to cover the various aspects of “open innovation” with the developer community and how to deliver on this innovation in a sustainable way (scoring high at the ITU buzzword bingo here). Or in more down to earth terms “how can operators, OEMs and all platform providers work more collaboratively with developers rewarding risk taking more appropriately and facilitating decision making for developreneurs”. A great panel then covering a wide range of subjects from open source, to appstore, to end-user analytics sharing, to the importance of mobile to redefine customer relationships, to the increased importance of making mobile data available on the cloud. The panel available for NGMN members here , thanks a lot to the panelists :NGMNpanel

  • Joe Barrett, Qualcomm
  • Emiliano Ceraldi, Telecom Italia
  • Jérôme Lepeu, Mobile Distillery
  • Dr Toshitaka Tsuda, Fujitsu Laboratories
  • Mike Yonker, Nielsen Mobile

And for those of you interested in the geeky stuff on the show floor, they were sparse but here are a few cool things spotted:

  • The Docomo booth was rather impressive with 2 prominent demos of Augmented reality both given on HTC Android phones. (not so surprising when you see popularity of Layar in Japan)..With a couple of Blackberry’s added to their product lineups this made for a not so usual Docomo booth.
  • Augmented reality was hot among developers with a few more companies demonstrating their solutions. One that caught my eye was a demo by KDDI, because .. it was running on a mid-tier Brew device, basically stating that embarking the correct hardware on mid-tier phone could open a much wider market for Augmented Reality.
  • The OPhone and Mobile Market were massive on China Mobile’s booth. I could finally make a mental and real pictures of the OPhone OS and Developer Network as well as the whole collection of OPhones from 5 different manufacturers showing the impetus behind the platform. So mental picture is:

OPhone OS =  a variant of Android, -2 hardware buttons,  + China Mobile APIs and improved navigation + JIL widgets + Chinese character hand writing

Looking forward for your views on the mental pictures… In the mean time here are the physical pictures:

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Carnival of Mobilists #195

Following plenty of action at CTIA, Carnival #195 is at Always On Real-Time Access AORTA, where host Chetan Sharma describes the past week’s mobile blogging as an eclectic mix of viewpoints. Check out Andrew Grill of London Calling’s post where he delves into the world of mobile and social networking. He looks at taking social media mobile and how the growth in social networks will drive mobile internet usage.

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The Future of the Mobile Development Industry; perspective from Sony Ericsson

We are pleased to bring you an interview with Erik Starck, Community Manager, Developer World, Sony Ericsson. Sony Ericsson is a Developer’s Choice sponsor at WIPJam @ CTIA taking place on October 8th in San Diego.

1. What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in the industry as a whole?
Definitely the move over to open source platforms. That changes the logic behind innovation creation. As it drives the cost of the platforms down it moves the resources of the entire industry over to applications and services.

2. What are the biggest changes you’ve seen in mobile development specifically?
Well, as a consequence of the above application developers are in a better spot than ever. The playing field has been leveled between developers, carriers and device manufacturers. It’s a better time than ever to be a mobile developer.

3. It’s pretty tough for small mobile development companies to survive on just one device and/or one market. What’s your advice to our mobile developers for growing a successful company?
It’s no different than for any other business. Know your customer and your markets, don’t focus on technology but on the value you can create for your customers. As always, user experience is key. If your coming from a web paradigm there are some things you need to rethink. A person should be able to use your application with one hand while riding a bike. If that’s possible you have a simple enough UI. :)

4. What do you think are the top 2 - 3 mistakes mobile development companies tend to make?
- Don’t be afraid to charge for your product. Free only gets you that far.
- “Distribution, distribution, distribution.” How easy is it to find your app, recommend it to someone, spread it?
- There are lots of “me too”-applications out there. Be innovative, try something new, test the limits!

5. In the global marketplace – what are you seeing that are hot geographic markets?
There’s lots of interesting stuff happening in Africa. In many ways they are ahead of the rest of the world especially when it comes to mobile payments. There are many emerging markets all over the world where the phones on the street are still quite basic, but they will be moving over to more advanced platforms in just a few years. These are markets where the mobile phone will play a key part in peoples’ lives in ways we haven’t fully realized yet.

6. How do you think our mobile developers can take advantage of these hot/growing areas?
The mobile phone is actually the personal phone. Since it such a personal device you really have to understand the cultural context in which you’re trying to sell your application. Maybe you should leave your keyboard and start traveling for a while to get some new ideas.

7. What’s your current role at Sony Ericsson? And how do you think you can support our mobile dev? I’m the community manager at Developer World. We run a developer forum, blogs and have a Twitter account. Join us there!

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Carnival of Mobilists #193

Carnival-Manchester 193This week, Volker on Mobile hosts Carnival #193. Volker Hirsch writes, “We have an abundance of variety, showing how incredibly diverse this “little” niche has already become.” Blogs include: general market overviews, novel handsets, subscription services, mobile learning, how smartphones will look and a WIPJam interview with Lauren Thorpe, the Sr Director, Developer Relations at Qualcomm. Qualcomm is a Developer’s Choice sponsor of WIPJam @ CTIA, a Day for Developers, taking place on October 8th in San Diego.

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