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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Cross-platform apps are the only way forward

I've been writing about operator cross-network aps for a while, decoupling access from service. We need to see Vodafone 360 on AT&T handsets, and O2/Jajah VoIP on Hutchison 3 phones. It's the only way to build scale against the real Internet application players.

But thinking further, and especially in the light of yesterday's announcement by Nokia about free turn-by-turn navigation, there also needs to be cross-phone applications.

Google has a head start here, with its portfolio of apps available on most devices, not just Android. To compete, Nokia has to follow suit - if it's serious about apps, it cannot just confine them to its own hardware platforms, it needs to port them to Android, iPhone, RIM and so on. Maybe, ultimately even Apple's iron will should crumble, and it should export aspects of its flagship UI to other OS platforms (although I'm not betting on it).

Some of the Nokia apps are really good - the SMS client, for example. Some of the SonyEricsson and Samsung ones too. But if I don't want a Nokia or an S-E phone for any reason, why can't I still have that experience, as long as the hardware supports it?


Sander van der Wal said...

You aren't asking Google to supply free ads either. Why should Nokia give away an advantage?

Jon K said...


google voice comes to iphone and palm


TimCloss said...

I can't see this happening, for at least two reasons.

Firstly, the OEMs/MNOs I've dealt with closely have a huge struggle even to get their own apps working across their own devices. They won't be in a hurry to increase that headache.

Secondly, the OEM apps/services ambitions are all very well, but the real value to them is the increase it potentially provides to their device sales. Look at where Apple's made its money from apps... not from App Store revenues, but from the increase in device sales (probably an order of magnitude higher). The OEMs know that, and they won't be about to give that device-sales-increase away.

Peter J. Cranstone said...

I've been saying this for 4 years. Our solution now runs on iPhone, Windows Mobile, Blackberry, Symbian and Android. Everything you need in the browser and easy integration with all backend Web apps.

5o9 Inc

Tyler Durden said...

"why can't I still have that experience, as long as the hardware supports it?"

Because handset vendors sell handsets, i.e. consumer electronic devices, not apps. The apps are only a means to sell HW.