On July 24, 2012, in Palo Alto at Pillsbury Winthrop, SVForum with PWC presented a Quarterly Venture Breakfast on Mobile. Stanley Pierson of Pillsbury Winthrop moderated panelists Steve Bengston of PwC, Bob Borchers of Opus Capital, Kim Morgan of Motorola Mobility and Venu Pemmaraju of Intel Capital. By definition the mobile market is in constant motion. Five years ago Europe’s infrastructure and Nokia led the way. Today, Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android dominate the discussions. Five years ago most Facebook users were on PCs, now most are mobile as trend accelerates.
There are still challenges. Batteries face physical restraints that are addressed with software managing power. There is a debate about how much personal information should be on the device versus in the cloud. Content providers have to deal with smaller screens to accommodate advertising. Company brand managers now understand that an app can be the ad to target customers. Of course, making a purchase may not be easy. The promise of Near Field Communication (NFC) has bogged down in dealing with banks, carriers, device manufactures and merchants. The solution may already exist. Apple started iTunes selling music and then expanded to movies, television, movies, books and magazines. Amazon started selling books, but now you can buy appliances through them. How far away are we from buying a cup of coffee through iTunes or Amazon? Monetizing mobility is a moving target.
On Wednesday November 16, 2011 in Santa Clara at Silicon Valley Bank hosted the WCA12th Annual VC Panel “What’s Hot (and What’s Not) in Mobility.” Carrie Walsh of Silicon Valley Bank moderated panelists Juha Christensen of Progression Partners, Steve Goldberg of Venrock, Tae Hea Nahm of Storm Ventures, Rama Sekhar of Norwest Venture Partners and Eric Zimits of Granite Ventures. They discussed the current and possible future of mobile technology.
While Apple makes most of the profits, Android is selling more phones. The diversity of devices from phones to televisions is forcing developers to prepare content for whatever “end screen” it winds up on. Much of that content will be social games running over an LTE or 4G network. Beyond games, users will navigate down the street with voice directions from services like Apple’s Siri. Once at a store, they will be guided with Location Based Systems (LBS) and scan Quick Response (QR) codes on items and compare them with online prices. If the price is right, they will buy it with Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, avoiding bank debit card fees.
While reusing available spectrum in developed countries is a major problem, getting the rest of the world online is the bigger opportunity. Most will use prepaid services and have trouble charging their devices. Solve these problems and build market growth where none existed before.
On May 10, 2011 in San Jose at Rhomobile, the WCA Mobile SIG presented “Whither Mobile App Development?” Sarah Allen of Blazing Cloud moderated panelists Adam Blum of Rhomobile, Andre Charland of Nitobi, Jeff Haynie of Appcelerator and Isaac Mosquera of AppMakr. They discussed developing apps for more than one mobile platform using tools like Rhodes, Titanium, PhoneGap, and other web-based cross-platform development frameworks. This write-once strategy makes sense if you remember the dominant mobile platforms five years ago were Palm, Microsoft and Symbian compared to Android and Apple today.
Also on attending were Roberto Araujo of LMGPR, WiFi expert Avril Salter, STC Silicon Valley Media Advisor David Strom and Gabriele Gresta of BrainSpark.
December 2, 2010 in Palo Alto at Nokia, the SDForum Mobile SIG held a Sponsor Appreciation & Holiday Event. Sponsors presenting their 2011 initiatives were Microsoft, Nokia, Orange and SAP. BrunoÂ Terkaly of Microsoft gave an overview of Windows Phone 7 overview for consumers. Tony Kueh of SAP’s Sybase talked about payments, carrier provisioning, SMS and MMS transactions. SatyaÂ Mallya of Orange talked about apps, systems integration and and running multiple operating systems. Samir Agarwal of MeeGo explained how MeeGo is true open source and a handset will be available in the first quarter of 2011.
Joe Jasin took an audience survey of 47 people about which of the many OS’s which were the top 3 for the audience to develop on presently. I did not believe the the results, but maybe it was just the crowd:
Jasin also asked “If Facebook were to have an OS ready tomorrow would you develop on it?” The answer was a unanimous NO! He was surprised, and said, “Wow, now lets get the age demographic in the room.”
I would like to thank Joe Jasin for his contribution to this article.
On April 20, 2010 in Santa Clara at Qualcomm, the WCA Mobile SIG presented â€œMobile OS? 2010 and Beyondâ€. Lars Kamp of Accenture Growth Strategy Practice moderated panelists David Cao of ExtendLogic, Todd Crick of inCode Telecom, Asokan Thiyagarajan of Samsung Telecommunications America, Oliver Gunasekara of the Symbian Foundation and Hugh Fletcher of Verizon Wireless. They discussed who would be the winners and losers in the battle of mobile operating systems. There will be battles between open and closed systems, consumer and enterprise as well as mobile devices beyond phones.
By 2013, smart phones will be over thirty percent of the market and have the same amount of processing power of your laptop today. The question is who will dominate? Right now it looks like Apple, Android and Symbian. Apple seems to have commanding lead with over 150,000 applications for the iPhone and now iPad. The number of devices sold increases every quarter. Google’s Android continues to attract manufacturers, developers and carriers. The risk is that the Android OS may fragment as each party tries to optimize for its own advantage. Symbian OS 4 is about to be refreshed and is based on open architecture. There are Symbian phones batteries that can last over three weeks without recharging. Pretty amazing. Microsoft’s Windows Mobile 6.5 OS is aiming for a consistent interface with computer and game consoles. RIMâ€™s Blackberry OS 4.6 has a loyal following. Palm’s webOS is in trouble.
The winner will give users the best experience at the lowest cost on the fastest network. Do that and you win the war.
On September 23, 2009 in Palo Alto SDForumâ€™s Software Architecture & Modeling SIG hosted Neal Goldstein to talk about â€œContext-Driven Design: Next-Generation Mobile Architectures: The iPhone And iPhone Applicationsâ€. Text from DJCline.com
Goldstein is author of â€œiPhone Application Development For Dummiesâ€ and a pioneer in the practical application of edge and cloud computing. He believes we are living in a post desktop world. A compelling iPhone application is fundamentally different from one on a personal computer. Compared to a PC, the iPhone is limited by its screen, memory, processor, battery and no keyboard or mouse. Despite this, the iPhone offers usability and mobile Internet access to applications with an embedded experience relevant to wherever the user is located. A good app is about user experience not user interface. Goldstein described the iPhone software architecture and how context-driven design rather than function design can make a substantial difference in user experience. Text from DJCline.com
Goldstein also talked about App approval process. He thinks it is opening up. They are concerned about offensive content and intellectual property. It is better to be the IP owner. They donâ€™t want the app to crash when they test it. Apps prices more moving away from 99 cents and more to ten dollars as they add more value. People are also preferring to do data manipulation on the iPhone rather than over the network. Text from DJCline.com
The closest competitor to the iPhone might be the Android because it is projected to have more devices out there in two years. The problem is that the Android may be a fragmented market given the nature of cell phone carriers. The Blackberry is very difficult to develop for and the Palm Pre seems to have dropped off.Â Text from DJCline.com
In the future he sees more power and speed for the iPhone, comparing its current state to the early days of the Mac, which was underpowered but still did amazing things. It is worth getting in early and developing for. He also sees opportunities for faster and more reliable networks. Text from DJCline.com