Sunday, December 21, 2008

Smart Phone Hell for Developers
If you are a small company planning to develop applications for smart phones, you are trying to decide which platforms to support and in what order:
  • iPhone: Cool but the AppStore is crowded and you better have a way to get your application on to the first page of your category.
  • Windows Mobile: They claim to have the largest installed-base for smart phones. However, delivering apps on the platform is not easy. I do not know any Windows Mobile phone user who has downloaded more than a couple of apps.
  • Google Android: It has a lot of buzz in the marketplace. Many of the mobile phone manufacturers (except Apple and Nokia) seem to be planning to launch devices with this OS. Should you bet your company on the success of this platform? Google has not demonstrated a lot of success beyond search.
  • Blackberry: They continue to thrive and control the thumbs of a the large enterprise customers with deepest pockets. The new devices are really cool!
  • Symbian (owned by Nokia): Outside of the US, Nokia has the largest market share of mobile devices and if you have any hope of gaining a global customer base, you just cannot afford to ignore Symbian.
I recently spoke with the founders of a small mobile-app company and they are having a hard time deciding where to put their $$$. Any suggestions? As usual, when the OS platforms fragment, someone comes up with an idea of a portable development environment using Java - read this article on MobileMentalism: Erricson to the rescue!

On top of all that - customers are gravitating towards "free" apps and there is no mobile Google AdWords in sight. Also, customers hate Mobile ads and ad revenues for any mobile site are expected to be extremely low for a very long time.

No comments: