Sunday, 8 June 2008

THE MOBILE WEB STARTS TO TAKE OFF

The launch of the IPhone was the boost that the mobile web needed. After many false dawns this could be the year where we finally see the mobile web start to take off. It took the marketing skills of Apple, the mobile upstart but technology stalwart, to make it happen. Now Apple have launched a Software Development Kit (SDK) to encourage the development of applications on its mobile operating system, and a place where they can exclusively distribute IPhone applications - the App Store. More about this from Mr Jobs in the video below




Apple says that since this event, they have had 200,000 downloads of the SDK, and Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers - an aristocrat of Silicon Valley venture capital - has established a $100m IFund to invest in companies developing applications and services for the IPhone.

However, Google isn't just going to leave this space free for Apple, or anyone else for that matter. Sergey Brin reveals Google's strategy in the video below for the mobile web: The Android operating system and its own SDK.




The existing operating systems in this space - usually owned by the handset manufacturers are now under fire. Two of the biggest guns in the technology market are aiming straight at them. The chart below, with figures sourced from a FT report, shows that Apple is starting to take share away from the existing players. Symbian, in particular, should be worried as the market leader with license sales from Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Samsung, and Motorola.

As this category hots up, I'm starting to do a lot more thinking about this space. I don't know the handset manufacturers very well, except for as a consumer, but I do know they should expect a very rough fight against some very effective fighters.

2 comments:

Saul said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Saul said...

You're quite right to be looking carefully at developments in this sector. Not to be outdone by Apple (or Google), RIM, the makers of Blackberry, has launched a $150m VC fund for mobile apps and services for their platform. Are we gearing up for a three-horse race? Perhaps, but it's just as likely that, mirroring the video games market, we wind up with three strong, but distinctly different platforms.