By Magnus Ingelsten
2 years ago we thought mobile platforms were getting pretty unified with J2ME and the uptake of Symbian. Has there ever been as many OS and foundations to choose from as now?
Isn´t it pretty cool that whatever song (read format) we get from a friend we can play it in any laptop? Or that there is (in principle) one CD format that plays in every CD player? It’s easy and intuitive.
From the mobile handset standpoint it would be great if we could swap the handset and keep the apps. Or even buy apps from any marketplace whatever handset we have.
From an operators perspective it would be a great thing with one service to all handsets. The fact is the GSMA hailed JIL as the potential saviour to the disparate application environment. The Joint Innovation Lab´s (www.jil.org) call for a unified widget standard is a great initiative. Vodafone, Softbank, Verizon and China Mobile are certainly strong enough to impact the market, as well as attractive enough application developers.
The additional €1,000,000 prize fund set up by Vodafone won´t make it less interesting. Already LG, RIM, Samsung, Sharp and recently Foxconn have agreed to launch JIL compatible handsets. And Vodafone´s 360 service already includes the first JIL devices from Samsung.
It is interesting that the rockets in the statistics of manufacturer volumes have jumped on the train first (Foxconn built the iPhones). Can anybody resist the >1 billion user base represented by these operators?
Will the time come when it will be as easy managing apps as listening to any radio channel on any FM radio? Let’s hope it’s sooner rather than later.