Tag Archive for 'symbian'

32 appstores on the WIP appstore wiki at the end of 2009!

32 mobile appstores!

That’s what we finished 2009 with (see January report on wipconnector)! And luckily we do not list yet the various appstore announcements on the verge of the mobile sphere like the Ford SYNC enabled appstore or Sun Java Store otherwise our wiki would be on fire.

So 2009 was the year of the appstore glut maybe… however it was also a year that saw new forms / concepts of appstores rather than un-differentiated ones, addressing specific issues such as discovery and recommendation or specific markets which can only be favorable for developers and consumers. Have a look at the newcomers for December and judge by yourself.

If we are to judge future smartphone platform success by the number of appstores distributing their apps, Android has a slight lead with 53% of appstores distributing Android apps, followed by Windows Mobile with 50% (mostly for historical reason one could claim),  Blackberry with 40% and Symbian with 37.5% are forming a second group of established players, followed by iPhone and Palm with 19% closing the ranks.

What is even more interesting is to look at the fact that about 2/3 of these appstores were launched in the last 6 months… looking at the platforms targeted by these appstores the results are in line with the previous numbers. If we look at “new appstores” only… those created in the past 6 months… unsurprisingly a lot more fragmentation kicks in as the number of new appstores  players concentrating on a specific platform  counterbalances the large OEM / Operators coming in this space. So newer players but… the same trend can be seen with 40% for Android and Windows mobile, 27% for Symbian and 18% for Blacbkerry, 13% for iPhone, and 5% by Palm and Limo (for widget only).

One can only be surprised looking at these figures by the similarities between a long established (struggling?) player in the mobile platform space Microsoft and the new kid on the block Google’s Android. Both of them encouraging or generating fortuitously  the creation of somewhat fragmented appstores ecosystem around the platform . Sign of success or sign of failure?

New appstores in December:

Zanox : Simple concept of appstore including mobile, web code snippet, SAAS, looking to connect developers to brands and publishers. A B2B exchange place aimed at increasing on-line purchases by encouraging developers to produce interactive and addictive applications using Zanox affiliate APIs.

In a sense this appstore concept brings something rather new and interesting to developers : access to B2B marketing and advertising money without the need to build personal commercial relationships with brands and agencies… With the obvious drawback of getting a much higher share of risk and exposing themselves to copy.

Overall this is a good example of a web appstore and will be a good touchstone to see how revenue making can be associated with the mobile web.

MobileIron: Another good example of an appstore turning towards B2B to bring new revenue streams for developers. In this case by getting IS department within enterprises to select / pay  for / deploy applications for their entire workforce. This kind of solution could sounds like an obvious merge between traditional device management solutions and appstores. But in an era where the enterprise mobile IT agenda tends to follow consumer mobile  technology solutions, this could be a good way for enterprises to do a substantial leapfrog in their mobile IS policies.

It is also quite interesting to see how new appstores position  themselves around recommendation(see very good post from Visionmobile on the subject), generating revenue from affiliation (as per our previous post on ideal appstore). 2 examples there :

Mplayit an appstore entirely built as a facebook application

and positioned around facebook friend recommendation.

Specialised in iPhone, Blackberry, Java applications, and

recently Android .
AppstoreHQ.com an appstore specialized

in social media / twitter / blogger recommendation for iPhone applications.

That’s it for 2009!

Now tell us! What will you remember of 2009 when it comes to appstores ?

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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!

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.

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!

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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Back from LinuxTag… with a ???? feeling

Following our Europe Open Source in mobile WIPjam tour, here’s the first blog in a short series summarizing the tour.

Obviously one can wonder these days about the usefulness of blogging about an event  when twitter offers you a better, more multilaterally objective opinion @ TwitterSearch ?

If you do not speak German? You could probably get all posts googletranslated and start wondering about what really happened and what the discussions were all about. And frankly looking at tweets like this one you would be led to believe that there were serious and interesting chats going on when it comes to openness in mobile:  @taknil “Back from LinuxTag. This is where Apple is not an open wireless devices found. Did the Android phone is not won.” (*)

Unfortunately this is entirely misleading and the debates around openness and mobile were rather scarce… or rather the open-sourceness spirit and mobile did struggle a bit to meet at the show (as a reminder LinuxTag is the largest open source show in Europe with 10,000 visitors this year).[once again you might need to googletranslate].

And I was going there full of hopes that finally openness would please the crowds… It was but not in the way I had expected… As we discovered during the WIPJam on openness in mobile organized with the support of Symbian Foundation.

Open-sourceness is obviously a given… And anyone not in this camp should be vilified… Except maybe if they’re Apple. Looking at source code experts can comment extensively on the beauty of the Dalvik for Java developers, or the greatness of the Android security model (googletranslate again). And frankly open-sourceness seems to have gathered around Android… a large community of individuals willing to spend time, effort and their own money to bank on the future opportunity as we saw at the Android Stammtisch.

However open development is just not a crowd pleaser… The numerous tales of bug fixes on Android left unanswered  (interesting to see though that most people I met tried) , and the lack of activities on the forums… None of these seem to be issues for developers… Except that is if you are genuinely trying to do a device and looking for a project where you can truly contribute.

So if we do not want openness to equal opensourness soon can we really limit it to opensourceness and exclude open development ?

We’ll discuss this in our next post.

*) The translation from the post by a human being would rather sound like: “Back from LinuxTag. No open WLAN available on my iPhone. And I didn’t win an Android device at the prize draw” … (sounds like a bad day to me)

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MWC 2009 - So that’s it for another year in Barcelona

I thought I would give you a few impressions of this year’s Mobile World Congress and some of the surrounding activities such as the WIP Jam session we hosted. It should also serve as a useful comparison to the other behemoth in the mobile calendar, CTIA Wireless, which is fast (too fast!) approaching.

Forgoing the first couple of days I missed a lot of the hype and launch hysteria that too often makes MWC so tiresome – sadly I also missed a couple of great parties! - but in between meetings on the Wednesday I did get the chance to stroll about and see a bit of the show.

First impression was that the numbers were down, noticeably down. The official count was down around 10% but it certainly felt like more. Perhaps many people only came on the first couple of days but Wednesday felt pretty quiet. That said, the mood was generally more optimistic than I was expecting. Now I’m not saying that it was full of people dancing about (actually, that was the case on the Cboss stand) but there certainly was positive energy and cool demos being given all over the place.

There weren’t too many show-stealing phones on display, my pick of them would be the HTC Magic (Android), Toshiba TG01 (Windows Mobile), Palm Pre (WebOS), Nokia N97 and the Sony Ericsson Idou (Symbian).

The biggest effect I saw was from the one notable absentee. Apple’s iPhone has really pushed the industry into embracing touchscreen phones – and possibly more importantly, into educating the average consumer about the ability to extend their phone through the use of third party applications. The results of this could be seen in the announcement of a bunch of new app stores, in particular Ovi from Nokia.

Symbian Foundation sings Lions Sleep tonite at Jameoke!

 On the social side of things, just a special mention to the GoMo News Blender followed by the WIP Jameoke at Bel Chica on the Wednesday night. Great informal night in a really atmospheric bar (rated for 75 occupants but probably hosting upwards of 200 for most of the night – as you can imagine, it was quite intimate!). To make the evening even more fun, we had live music and an open mike with many guests joining in energetic renditions of songs such as “Brown Eyed Girl”. Thanks to Stephen King from Mob4Hire who was the lead musician and organized the songs for the nite.  Almost as popular was the 6 meters of pizza that turned up (and almost instantly disappeared beneath a throng of hungry developers)!

 Thursday saw the return of the WIP Jam event – a developer event with a difference. An informal gathering of developers, thought leaders and industry experts meeting with the genuine intention of networking and discussing issues that are important and relevant to the current developer community, regardless of platform, carrier or location.

Many of the issues that could be seen in the larger show were raised during the WIP Jam, and all of us at WIP would like to pass on our thanks to everyone who attended – as always the contributions were terrific. Special BIG THANKS to our sponsors: Adobe, Symbian Foundation, ACCESS, Sony Ericsson, Oracle, Windows Mobile, and O2 Litmus.  We put some of the photos up on our Facebook Group site and will get more up soon!

Inpanel with Caroline Lewko (WIP), David Wood (Symbian), James Parton (O2 Litmus), Christopher David (Sony Ericsson), Jason Lim (Microsoft), Nicholas Landrin (I Source)

 The proceedings got underway with the “unpanel” - a mirror universe version of a standard panel session, in which the panel quizzes and starts a dialogue with the audience. This session really set the tone for the rest of the day with a lot of discussion focused on app stores, not all of it positive. There were some very interesting points made about the long-term benefits of app stores, as the number of apps continues to rise and the ability to get noticed diminishes.

Another hot area of discussion during the unpanel was fragmentation. This was also followed up in the discussion groups in the afternoon with some very interesting debate focusing on the ONE-API and BONDI initiatives aiming to bring some consolidation and standardization to the scene.

 After an extremely good lunchtime networking session, all of the discussion groups were well attended in the afternoon. In particular there was standing room only at the Maps Mashup discussion, with Laura Diaz from Navteq and Patric Nordström from Idevio giving really helpful advice about careful checking of T&C’ s when licensing map data.

The “Mak’n Money” discussion resulted in complex flow diagrams and some great ideas around how to look at alternative revenue channels such as “freemium vs. premium”, ad-subsidized apps and discovery apps thanks to discussion leader Harald Neidhardt of Smaato, Raj Singh of Skyfire and Sean O’Sullivan from Dial 2 Do (check out his MWC wrap up here).

Overall, the mood of the WIP Jam was constructive and positive with some real innovation and networking taking place. In particular, the afternoon sessions had the theme of collaboration about them – a point that was rightly picked up by WIP’s own Caroline Lewko, who chaired the day and Larry Berkin of Access who co-hosted the wrap up session.

A couple of questions were left hanging as rhetorical questions, but perhaps developers would be well-advised to keep in mind:

What does a successful ecosystem look like?

What is a successful go-to-market strategy?

Now the answers may be different depending upon who you are, but I suspect that with the spirit of collaboration there may be more commonality in the answers than there has been in previous years.

Looking forward, the next WIP Jam will be taking place on Thursday, April 2, 2009 in Las Vegas at CTIA Wireless and we intend to incorporate some of the MWC hot topics in that event. Carrying forward, the theme for our event at CTIA will be the many aspects of collaboration for the developer community.

Vegas, WIPJAM Yeah Baby! See you there!

Team WIP:  Ed Kay, Caroline Lewko, Teresa Ostman, Arv Singh

Team WIP: Ed Kay, Caroline Lewko, Teresa Ostman, Arv Singh

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Got an App? We want to see it!

As one of the sponsors for our WIP Jam Sessions, Symbian has welcomed any developers out there with an exciting contest for any developers out there:

Show your S60 5th Edition app at Symbian Foundation Stand @ Mobile World Congress next month

Do you have an exciting Symbian OS application based on S60 5.x that you want to show off to the world? If so then we would like to invite you to present your solution at the Application Spotlight demo area on the Symbian Foundation stand at Mobile World Congress, 16-19 February 2009 in Barcelona.

This is a great opportunity to let the world know about your S60 5th Edition application! In addition, we’ll give successful applications two free exhibition tickets to MWC (valued at €599 each).

To find out more, please click here.

Please note that the deadline for applying is January 23rd, or this Friday.

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