By Andrew Till
Last week I continued my world tour of trade shows and events with a visit to the Open Mobile Summit in London. Now a week has passed and I’ve had time to reflect on some of the key themes and highlights from the conference.
There is a widely held belief that Mobile Data is about to explode. Now I know you have heard this before but with the combination of powerful HTML browsers, faster CPUs and flat rate data tariffs things really seem to be moving and both T-Mobile and Orange talked about some impressive growth in this area. Especially with consumers who seem to be tweeting, blogging and generally getting addicted to mobile social networking in the same way they are on the desktop.
A lot of time was also spent discussing the benefits of HTML 5.0. Now this is a very compelling development for mobile and promises to take web application development a big step forwards. However will it offer the utopia of a single mobile development environment in the way it was discussed at the conference. I for one remain sceptical but I do see it as being a key development for 2010.
Another key these was Apps Stores and let’s face it, everybody want one. If the show was a good reflection of the industry then expect an Apps store to be top of everyone’s Christmas list this year. Handset vendors and operators alike were keen to outline what they are doing in this area. However, perhaps one interesting twist was the call for the OMTP to create a common standard. Now a common framework for apps stores with open operator APIs available to developers would be a compelling development and would help to contain fragmentation in this area.
There was also a strong debate about are we open, as it we really want people to play and change the code, or are we transparent, do we want to let people see what we are doing, in the mobile industry. Only time will tell what the real answer to this question is but one thing is clear there is a real momentum around open source in mobile then is not slowing down. Based on the evidence of the show as the industry fully understood how to get the best from open source the answer would have to be no. But, there are clear and positive signs that the industry is becoming more comfortable with open source and that it will play a strong role not only in handset platforms but in service delivery and none handset mobile devices as well.
So all in all a very good show and one worth attending. Perhaps not amazing revelations but clearly a lot of confirmation about the momentum of the trends that are going to shape the mobile space over the next few years.