Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Interesting thought on Mobile

Today I had lunch with Christian Lindholm and Dan Applequist, the sun came back to town and so I decided to let the conversation flow rather than just clockwatch after having a meeting cancelled.
Christian has been working for Yahoo but before that he was the lead for the S60 at Nokia and is very much a UI guy. Dan is one of the founders of MobileMonday in London and thanks to his day job at Vodafone has a role on a numberof standards boards for Mobile Internet. I have over the past year had a number of chats in interesting places but this is the first time that we have spoken.
The two guys are a lot more technical than myself, and as such approach a situation from different levels. Both have a higher public profile thanks to the fact that they speak at a number of events and thus probably have a wider group of associates. They both see the Mobile Interne as something that is starting to take off and is important to the Mobile sector. Now that Christia is paying his own bills he has become interested in new tools that allow him to speak with his friends worldwide without being ripped off by his network.
Whilst we agreed that the Network and the Handset makers are important we also said that niether as yet own the customer. This fact offers a wide number an opportunity to succeed in the Mobile space. In putting the world to rights we thought that the key areas are PIM replication and the use of the SIM toolkit to allow improved security and payment of content.
One of the points that came out was the fact that services such as Cognima and Wildfire would today have a high take up, but the fact that they were killed by the networks sometime ago means that a relaunch would be difficult. The other issue is that any data service has to overcome the fact that SMS is such a cashcow for the networks anything that stops users send texts has a very high hurdle to clear.
The interesting point for me as I made my way home tonight is that a lot of what we are trying to do today on Mobile we have been trying for a very long time. The development is still a way off and the guys who might be the ones to achieve are goals are those who at first we did not trust rather than the network and the handset guys.
I still think that the mobile is a phone first and that voice needs to be at the centre of what we all do. Perhaps next time we need to light the bar-b-que and spend the time talking in detail now that we have started these thoughts, I guess I will find out if Christian and Dan follow up on today!
I am off to see if I can find Douglas Adams keynote at GSM World before Christian.

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