Why I plan to address the Nokia Game Summit

Next week I will travel to Rome to give a keynote speech to the Nokia Developer Summit.   Some friends have asked me why.   Given the recent release of the Gooogle Android phone and the Apple iPhone 3G, there has been a surge of commentary about the smartphones in the tech blogs.  The general thrust of such blog posts is that the newcomers will transform the mobile industry.

I disagree.    The newcomers may have an impact, perhaps an outsized impact, but in reality the primary driver of change in mobile is one of the old giants: Nokia.    No major mobile technology company comes close to Nokia in its support of open standards, open software and open APIs.   And no company comes close to challenging Nokia’s 30%+ market share.

Nokia has also been a champion of mobile games for more thatn 10 years.  The first game on a mobile phone was created by a Nokia engineer in 1997.  Nokia sponsored the first mobile session of the Game Developer Conference in 2002.   Nokia was one of the first companies in the mobile technology field to establish a developer program and has consistently suppported and fostered developers ever since.

Mobile remains one of the last frontiers for collaborative creativity on digital networks.   But, strangely, most companies in the mobile space restrict their exploration to closed-network solutions, proprietary technologies and walled gardens.    The members of the GSM and CTIA organizations make grand pronouncements about “openness” but they mostly fail to deliver.

But Nokia is different. Nokia goes to great lengths to foster creativity and openness on the Series 60 phones. Nokia seeks to promote developers who create applications that span multiple media formats:   music, games, graphics, and photos.

I am proud to give a keynote address to the Nokia developers about the future of this medium.   What will change?   What will stay the same?    Stay tuned.

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