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Opinions in Mobile (http://opinions.hungrymobile.com) is an online platform, where top executives and leaders from the mobile services and mobile entertainment industry respond to questions related to the mobile market. These questions are asked and sent to them once every week, and they respond throughout the week.

Will mobile software licensec influence buying the next mobile device, and choosing the same platform?41th WEEK

Arjan Olsder - Owner MobileGamesBlog.com

Arjan OlsderOwner MobileGamesBlog.com

04.10.09 at 19:13

If there is any way to make consumers stick to a platform, it\'s probably by letting them invest in it. Just like a PC user isn\'t going to dump it\'s software licenses for a mac (or vise-versa), consumers that invested many euro\'s in their mobile apps will prefer a followup device where they can keep using most of them. This is possible for a lot of platforms (Apple is doing it, Nokia is testing it) but it depends on the DRM on the background and the willingness of developers to keep porting their back catalogue. Having your own shop will certainly let vendors have a good shot at it, but when it is a non-exclusive one it might be hard to inform consumers about which purchases are and arn\'t supported when upgrading the hardware.

Mark Linder - Global Client Leader at WPP

Mark LinderGlobal Client Leader at WPP

04.10.09 at 11:18

There will be a growing degree of lock-in in mobile device purchases, more by OS than device manufacturer. A user spends many hours and a lot of money customizing a smartphone/mobile computer, and a switch is expensive. We may see users adopting a PC replacement cycle for smartphone devices.

Volker Hirsch - Co-Founder, Blue Beck

Volker HirschCo-Founder, Blue Beck

04.10.09 at 00:48

Users are not (and, I would pose, have never been) hung up about the OS a device runs. They do care a lot though about if and how \"their\" applications, programmes, etc run. If this is, all of a sudden, unfamiliar, works, handles and indeed feels different and alien to them, they\'ll much rather stick to what they are used to. Whilst this generally applies to any device or service, this is even more important on mobile devices because of input constraints, etc.

This described ease will pose challenges to OS makers (and their ego when it comes to wanting to give it their particular operator X or OEM Y touch, for which no one other than themselves cares much about). And it is here where Apple (1 OS, 1 UI across very few devices) is strong. This is where RIM and Microsoft could be strong. And it is where open source platforms (Android, Symbian, Linux) are more prone to failure because of the temptation of having a gazillion different iterations which destroys the warm, fuzzy feeling of familiarity to the user.

Jonathan MacDonald - Managing Director - JMA

Jonathan MacDonaldManaging Director - JMA

30.09.09 at 13:40

I believe that the personalised application world we are entering in to, will encourage people to stick with what they know and use - more than ever before. The wise move by a developer will be to allow cross-polination throughout platforms so even if you switch, your application still works and remebers you.

Ray Anderson - CEO at Bango

Ray AndersonCEO at Bango

30.09.09 at 13:39

Just as images, video and now music have gone \"DRM free\" so will most applications.

As users build a collection of applications, it will tend to mak ethem \"stick\" with the same platform
when they want to upgrade - otherwise their apps are gone. In the short term that will
help Apple retain their nice of high spending customers. IN the long run it will benefit
Symbian IF they can make their OS stable across several handset devices. However,
there are alarm bells sounding that Symbian might follow android into \"fragmentation hell\".

Will operators only be „dumb pipes“? If so, when? 38th WEEK

Mark Linder - Global Client Leader at WPP

Mark LinderGlobal Client Leader at WPP

13.09.09 at 11:40

Aren\'t they already, to a large extent? However, this category does not display the consolidation of the PC category. There are too many forces at work and the users are so culturally different. Some operators will have enough line-of-sight and vision to innovate, and add value.

Jonathan MacDonald - Managing Director - JMA

Jonathan MacDonaldManaging Director - JMA

09.09.09 at 22:44

Some will and some won\'t. Operators that get clever at being utility
companies may survive. Operators that get clever at being media owners
have a high chance of surviving too. Survival is relative though.
Survival for the next 10 years is often seen as \'enough\' (especially
if you are in your mid-50\'s). The point is - continuing current
business in a climate of change is not necessarily the most sensible
approach. This is hard to digest however, if the last 15 years have
literally been a license to print money. Why would anyone inside an
operator want that to change?!

Monty Munford - Creator, Montys Gaming and Wireless Outlook

Monty MunfordCreator, Montys Gaming and Wireless Outlook

09.09.09 at 22:43

\"I have learnt to never underestimate operators for their stupidity, laziness, lethargy, but also for their persipacity. While an outsourcing model is taking place with portals and billing they are also \'laying down new pipes\' by working more closely with the OEMs to offer value-added content.

\"Perhaps they have always been dumb pipes, but very lucrative ones at that. Based in India, where the whole country appears to be covered in operator signage, it will be a long, long time before anybody wrests control from the operators here. Perhaps global operators are today\'s tobacco companies. Once they\'ve been rumbled in early adopting countries, they\'ll take their product to lesser developed countries.\"

Ray Anderson - CEO at Bango

Ray AndersonCEO at Bango

09.09.09 at 14:03

Ray, USA & UK

No. Mobile service providers (Operators) that survive will do so by providing more services
than just a \"pipe\" in the sense of a traditional ISP.

They will provide identity, location and payment services to people running services,
and those valuable services will win them more customers.

SOme operators will waste time and money of \"services\".

Some operators will become like \"dumb pipes\" - like old fixed ISP\'s and they will
fade away because users won\'t get usability, and will desert them, or they will be crushed
by \"dump pipe\" provided by an assortment of ad-hoc Wifi/Wimax/fixed operators.

Andrew Grill - Business Development Gigafone

Andrew GrillBusiness Development Gigafone

09.09.09 at 14:03

Answering this question from London, if I compare my mobile ISP with my fixed ISP, I expect exactly the same - fast and reliable delivery of my IP packets.

I pay a premium to my mobile ISP to have my packets delivered wherever I am in the UK (an a higher premium when roaming) but beyond that expect nothing more. All of the so called \'smart pipe\' benefits just don\'t matter for mobile IP. The mobile operators claim they add extra bits - but all of these (payments, content, location) can be reliably delivered by well known 3rd parties.

So not a case of \'when will they become\', more a case of \'when will they admit...\'

What do you think about Nokia entering the netbook market?36th WEEK

Monty Munford - Creator, Montys Gaming and Wireless Outlook

Monty MunfordCreator, Montys Gaming and Wireless Outlook

30.08.09 at 07:46

\"Nokia increasingly resembles a salmon swimming upstream in a race to save itself. As somebody who is based in India, it is noticeable that Nokia runs the show here with market penetration of more than 40%.

\"Last week the Nokia CEO met with the Indian Prime Minister, Manhoman Singh. It\'s unlikely they talked about netbooks, more likely the increasing competition Nokia is facing here... and if Nokia loses India, it loses everything.

\"The problem with Nokia that it\'s been a great company for too long and it is now reacting to changes, not leading the way. The netbook initiative seems to be another one of those reactions. But the prove will be in the pudding and if it\'s a great bit of kit then it will succeed.

\"But one more small point. I\'ve never lost a laptop but have lost/had stolen 10 mobiles over the past five years. If Nokia can develop something that can be attached to my body, I\'d buy it in a flash.\"

Ulf Morys - Finance director at Ubisoft, formerly Gameloft

Ulf MorysFinance director at Ubisoft, formerly Gameloft

29.08.09 at 13:00

Primarily, I\'d expect the market leader in mobile phones to come up with more competitive models in the smartphone, touchscreen or tablet area. It does make sense to have NOKIA present in the netbook space (.....potentially better than a no-frills netbook with a Huawei USB-Stick attached for connectivity), but in this space, they enter as a me-too candidate: something the Fins are neither good at nor should take pride becoming good at.

Ray Anderson - CEO at Bango

Ray AndersonCEO at Bango

28.08.09 at 13:31

Its taken a long time. Their hardware expertise should result in some great devices.

Thank goodness they have left the software to Microsoft, as Nokia\'s reputation
for flaky and unusable software would otherwise harm its entry into the market.

Lawrence Cosh-Ishii - Representative Director at Mobikyo and Co-Founder at Wireless Watch Japan

Lawrence Cosh-IshiiRepresentative Director at Mobikyo and Co-Founder at Wireless Watch Japan

28.08.09 at 11:20

It\'s been clear for some time that mobile computing hardware would ramp-up with increased network speed and users demand. It will be crowded turf, with all the usual vendors, so a no-brainer Nokia is there hunting corp. market share. Interesting to note that Sharp announced their ultra-mini NetWalker, running Ubuntu 9, on the very same day. Guess we’ll hear much more about the N900 via Stuttgart next week!

Mark Linder - Global Client Leader at WPP

Mark LinderGlobal Client Leader at WPP

28.08.09 at 11:19

Nokia says it\'s a mini-laptop...the product is good. This will be successful if Nokia can show there are unmet expectations in (1) design and durability (2) backup and synch (3) battery life and (4) media playback. Each of these is a major issue. Backup is a latent cancer. The Booklet is the right choice if you are worried about any of these four.

Volker Hirsch - Co-Founder, Blue Beck

Volker HirschCo-Founder, Blue Beck

28.08.09 at 11:18

It seems something like a natural move: with processing power and usability of high-end phones and netbooks nearing, it is a somewhat logical extension of their product portfolio, in particular they had been dabbling in the segment before there even was a name for netbooks. Apple showed nicely how its computers liaise with its phone. So Nokia will want to show that it can do the same or better.

Will it be the game-changer? I doubt it.

The exciting developments are elsewhere: Comes With Music (despite its seemingly limited success to date), services around Navteq (maybe), and - in particular - the newly announced mobile payment are much more likely to set them apart (again) from competitors. Nokia\'s market footprint is theoretically capable of opening a huge addressable user base and it is in these areas where true innovation could come.

Vassili le Moigne - former Area Manager Microsoft Mobile Communications

Vassili le Moigneformer Area Manager Microsoft Mobile Communications

27.08.09 at 22:20

HTC tried it, and left that field. Nokia is of course stronger a player, but this is out of its core skills as of today, so the learning curve will be painful. Chances are their design will always be a bit lagging, their development cycle will be longer, and the integration of the phone with the PC functionalities tricky to handle in a seemless and easy end user experience.

10% chance of success, but I give Nokia credit for trying.

Jonathan MacDonald - Managing Director - JMA

Jonathan MacDonaldManaging Director - JMA

27.08.09 at 21:52

Nokia are trying a number of strategies. The most exciting is payments. The netbook approach is interesting but not, in my opinion, one where their slow and cautious approach is suited to a high-speed, multiple-entrant marketplace.

How do you think the MS and Yahoo search deal will influence the key players in mobile search? What can be the result of it?34th WEEK

Are Traasdahl - Are Traasdahl, Co-founder and CEO

Are TraasdahlAre Traasdahl, Co-founder and CEO

12.08.09 at 21:24

As far as I’m concerned, any deal that increases competition is a good thing – and it appears that the structure of the deal plays to their respective strengths. By upping the game for Google (as well as the up-and-comers in the space) , the result SHOULD be even more smart, innovative offerings for mobile users.

Lawrence Cosh-Ishii - Representative Director at Mobikyo and Co-Founder at Wireless Watch Japan

Lawrence Cosh-IshiiRepresentative Director at Mobikyo and Co-Founder at Wireless Watch Japan

11.08.09 at 08:29

From what we see here in Japan, themobile ad market revenues attributed to keyword search is larger, and growing faster, than standard banner advertising. The logic there relates to an affiliate model almost entirely replacing CPC & CPM platform approach, combined with delivering relevance. Can the newly merged entity control a slice of that global pie in years to come, sure - but, as always god is in the details!

Monty Munford - Creator, Montys Gaming and Wireless Outlook

Monty MunfordCreator, Montys Gaming and Wireless Outlook

10.08.09 at 20:58

This deal has been so protracted and discombulated that it is boring. Both have last-mover advantage and while Bing has been widely acclaimed, it is of no relevance to me.

Increasingly I am migrating away from Google (let alone MS/Yahoo) to Twitter\'s search engine via Tweet Deck and finding specific information about \'hot\' topics there.

If I want vague information about features I am writing for UK newspapers then I go back to Google. There is no need for me to go elsewhere, especially to two merged brands that seem to have had their day.

Jonathan MacDonald - Managing Director - JMA

Jonathan MacDonaldManaging Director - JMA

10.08.09 at 17:54

I see absolutely no effect coming from the MS/Yahoo deal. It is a strategy to save face and save one of the companies. It is a strategy that is chasing the market leader rather than one that tries to re-define the market. It is a strategy made out of desperation rather than vision.

Ray Anderson - CEO at Bango

Ray AndersonCEO at Bango

10.08.09 at 14:56

This is a key development.

Yahoo has been rapidly winning over the mobile carriers to its search engine and ad sales.
Regrettably, the technology behind the scenes has been as weak as Google\'s.

Microsoft\'s mobile search m.bing.com is much better than the old Google and Yahoo search,
and does not have much baggage. With the heritage of motionbridge and the serious attention
Microsoft gives to its development partners & content providers we have a huge opportunity ahead of us.

Of course there is a good chance that big companies screw up big opportunities, and there are some hot startups
like Taptu blazing a trail ....

Should any phone manufacturer have declining / banning rights apart from legality from its appstores/marketplaces?33th WEEK

Ray Anderson - CEO at Bango

Ray AndersonCEO at Bango

04.08.09 at 15:32

Phone makers should be able to restrict their phones in any way they want to. Consumers have choice.

The problem with the iPhone is that none of its competitors is either knowledgeable or
confident enough to point out its numerous weaknesses that stem from Steve Jobs\' obsession
with control.

Christopher Kassulke - CEO HandyGames, mobile game publisher

Christopher KassulkeCEO HandyGames, mobile game publisher

04.08.09 at 10:02

Thats how the world is. It’s the risk of working with only one partner no matter in what business you are in. On the good old mobile game space we have the chance to work with hundreds of operators, off-portal and media companies. If one of those partner ban or doesn’t want to launch it for what ever reason we still have more than enough portals and products to make money with and consumers will always have the chance to buy the game/product where ever they are located.


That’s the risk of putting all eggs in one basket.


And its their store and consumer so they can ban what ever they want.

Mark Linder - Global Client Leader at WPP

Mark LinderGlobal Client Leader at WPP

04.08.09 at 08:43

Sure they can -- as long as they disclose their standards. Just as any bricks and mortar or online store can choose its inventory. But isn\'t our obsession with apps transient anyway? In the long run they will be overrun by the browser-as-platform.

Volker Hirsch - Co-Founder, Blue Beck

Volker HirschCo-Founder, Blue Beck

03.08.09 at 22:07

It\'s a free world and each manufacturer (as any operator has been doing for ages!) has the right to draw up their own guidelines and decide on who to contract with about distribution of content. It is not a ban. The decision to decline some carries certain PR effects but I doubt it has legal implications. I would wish that manufacturers apply their measure them evenly but only anti-trust/competition laws would appear to rule and I do not see market dominance (as a key benchmark for most applicable regulations) in anti-trust terms by any app store provider so far. It is important to note that it is not a ban but a refusal to enter into a distribution agreement (freedom to contract)! This would change if one (monopoly) or a few (oligopoly) of the players would become dominant in anti-trust terms; they would then unduly restrict competition by refusing access. That\'s a long shot though in respect of most manufacturers (Apple included).

Arjan Olsder - Owner MobileGamesBlog.com

Arjan OlsderOwner MobileGamesBlog.com

03.08.09 at 22:07

Yes, but I do reckon that consumers like to have a bit or transparency
about who you allow and who not. It\'s like your house. The people you
like are allowed in and the people you like are left outside. This
discussion reverts to the Apple vs. Google cast and I think Apple never
claimed that the app store is an independent channel.

Jonathan MacDonald - Managing Director - JMA

Jonathan MacDonaldManaging Director - JMA

03.08.09 at 22:06

Phone companies can do what they want within their terms people have signed to (where applicable). In actuality, people will find, use and advocate what they wish, regardless of limiting policies. I predict public subversions will be increasingly hard to track and regulate; forced underground by myopic control-obsessed suits.