Open mobile in search of a definition — here’s a few options

This post is the final in a series leading up to an upcoming Connected Planet feature story on open mobile. Read the cover story HERE. Road to Open: Read part 1 HERE, part 2 HERE, part 3 HERE, part 4 HERE, part 5 HERE and part 6 HERE.

How open is defined depends largely on who is giving the definition and their interest in the answer. To some it’s a buzzword, but to others it has been a game changer. Connected Planet asked several developers and industry analysts to take a shot at defining open. Here’s what they said:

  • “The definition of open (for developers) is for distributors/aggregators/carriers to have no restrictions on number of developers, number of applications, type of applications, or the price of applications; and not mandating support for minimum number of handsets. The flipside of openness is it’s too open. Developers with a great idea don’t know how to make themselves visible out of the 100,000 apps.” – Sunil Jain, independent wireless consultant
  • “To a developer, “open” means both opportunity and challenge. At first blush, “open” is the promise of easily reaching customers and creating new markets that have been previously difficult to crack. But, this new hope can be quickly crushed when faced with tremendous clutter and thousands of new competitors. Tiny screens and thousands of apps make it difficult to stand out. Open markets and choice sound great of course, but it is still not a “fair” playing field. It is often still about relationships, marketing strength and the ability to get noticed in a world where there is not just “an app for that,” but rather thousands of them.” – Evan Conway, executive vice president of marketing at Handmark
  • “It’s a little like the same race-car drivers going from an older car with less horsepower to a really souped-up Ferrari. It is still the same drivers and it’s still fundamentally a car, but it’s going to be a better performing car. That’s just better for everybody.”– Trip Hawkins, CEO of Digital Chocolate
  • “It is a willingness to accept new and interesting forms of content. The actual process and certification involved is sufficient, however, one of the big challenges even though things are being simplified, it’s still not as easy to understand for people that are new to mobile.” – Jai Jaisimha, CEO of Open Mobile Solutions
  • “Open for us has a variety of meanings, but in general, we find open to be a good word for us as developers. Open can mean open access to more customers and more development platforms. However, open can also mean fragmentation.” – Matt Gillis, executive vice president of publishing at Capcom Games.
  • “Open is a little bit of a buzz word to try to point a negative for Apple.” – Peter Farago, vice president of marketing at Flurry Analytics

How do you define “open?” Leave your comments below.

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