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Mobile Monday Frankfurt: Mobile Internet and Applications

Yesterday we attended the Mobile Monday in Frankfurt. The topic was Mobile Internet and Applications. Forum Nokia was one of the sponsors of this event. For us it was a good accommodation for the upcoming Nokia Developer Summit next week in Monaco.

The first presentation was held by Jarkko Tolvi from Forum Nokia. He introduced Forum Nokia, an important platform for developers of mobile services. Forum Nokia offers them a wide range of resources to help them design, build, test, certify, market, and sell or promote their applications, content, services, or Web site to mobile users. It’s the worlds biggest mobile developer community with over 4 million members.

Arnaud Caigniet from Opera was next. The topic of his talk was “What can the industry do to see ‘One Web’ everywhere?”. With statistics Arnaud showed that the mobile usage has grown and the growth still continues. The most growth in mobile usage Opera sees in Indonesia, China, Russia and India.
“To Opera, One Web means being able to take the one true Web and make it available to people on their own terms.” (source: Nowadays, people can access the web not only on their Desktop PCs or mobile phones, but also on TVs, gaming consoles, digital frames etc. Arnaud pointed out that the technology is here and Web standards (e.g. CSS) are defined and are very important (we couldn’t agree more). With these fundamentals people should be able to access the same familiar Web content seamlessly on any device. How to make that possible?
  1. support open standards
  2. graceful degradation (“It means that, when you put in features designed to take advantage of the latest and greatest features of newer browsers, you should do it in a way that older browsers, and browsers letting users disable particular features, can “step down” to a method that still allows access to the basic content of the site, though perhaps not as snazzy in appearance.” Source:
  3. optimization (e.g. phone numbers as link if it’s a capable device)

Arnaud also introduced some of Opera’s services/features, such as:
  • Opera Turbo, a cross-platform compression solution to speed up data transfer and to reduce the amount of data that needs to be downloaded
  • Opera Link for synchronizing bookmarks, notes or any other data between Desktop computers and mobile phones
  • Opera Fingertouch, a technology designed to make interacting with the Web easier and simpler on touch-based devices
  • virtual mouse: Opera Mini gives your phone a virtual mouse, so you can easily scroll in any direction.
  • power scrolling shortcuts: mobile browsing by using Phone’s number keys, e.g. press 2 to go up
  • screen rotation between landscape and portrait mode (like the iPhone), accelerometers are supported

An interesting fact is that in Russia Opera Mini has a market share of 30-35%, probably most of the users there have “old” mobile phones and Opera Mini enables them to surf the web easier and more comfortable than with their pre-installed web browser. In Germany the iPhone is market leader.

The last presentation was held by Christian Schepke from Nokia about ”Nokia Ovi: Content Strategy of the Nokia Ovi store”. With Ovi, meaning ‘door’ in Fininish, Nokia offers a range of different Internet services, such as Maps, Mail, File Sharing etc., under one umbrella. The Ovi store, Nokia’s global application market, is based on 2 components:
  1. location (getting relevant content based on your location)
  2. people (getting relevant content based on your social network, e.g. all of your friends downloaded a special application, that might be also an interesting app for you)

With this service Nokia wants to offer relevant content to the users and wants to give developers a better opportunity to reach their target audience with their application/service. Users can also rate and comment on these third-party applications which offers developers another way for getting feedback from the community.

The launch date of the Ovi store is scheduled in May 2009. Through developers get a self-service publishing tool to distribute and monetize their applications and content to consumers using Nokia devices. The revenue share is 70/30 after carrier charges have been deducted.

Nokia plans to reach 300 mio. users by 2012 worldwide.

After the presentations the networking part started. The opinions about the Ovi Store were quite positive, but there were also some skeptical ones. Basically, Ovi store is the right step in the right direction. Its success will probably depend on its implementation and if all those services are seamlessly integrated into each other. I am very excited about the upcoming Developer Summit next week and I am already a fan of Nokia’s N97. It is nice to see that new mobile devices are increasingly becoming full-fledged web devices as well and that we can already develop and deploy applications based on web standards to them.
Sources: Forum Nokia
Ovi Store
Nokia Developer Summit 2009 Nokia N97 Opera Mini The Web Standards Project (WaSP)