October 16th, 2008 • Posted in General Observations
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. Continue Reading
August 10th, 2008 • Posted in General Observations
Apple‘s legendary obsession with controlling information and availability of products has reached the tipping point. A growing number of iPhone developers are grumbling about the arbitrary nature of the decision-making process which governs which applications get included in the iTunes storefront. A spate of recent stories highlights what is clearly a haphazard and chaotic process. Worse, for those who are paranoid about Apple’s ability to control how consumers make use of the iPhone is the emergence of a blacklist built into the phone. No one knows what the criteria for making the blacklist might be… and Apple isn’t telling anyone.
Simultaneously, a growing number of consumers are voicing their concerns with the iPhone, too.
Coming on the heels of the widely-publicized glitch in the launch of the iPhone 3G and the much-publicized failure of the MobileMe service, these reactions underscore just how difficult it is to execute a new strategy in the wireless business. It turns out the mobile carriers are not so bad, after all. Continue Reading