Yesterday was the beginning of an interesting thought taking place in my head. Nokia, the world largest handset maker, took to podium at the MWC talking about merging their Maemo and Moblin platforms.
These are simplistically speaking, the slates upon which you write when you design an application to run on a Nokia or any other phone.
Just like English is the language I´m using to write this blog, mobile handsets have languages which they understand such that if you write an application in that language the handset understands and is able to run it on your phone when you install it.
The tie-up between the two giants; Nokia commands 40 per cent handset market share globally while Intel controls about 80 per cent of the computing chips market (hence the ubiquitous Intel Inside) logo on many PCs and laptops, could signal the future of the mobile computing environment.
Nokia could unfathomably, be moving out of making handsets to possibly, providing the solutions that run on handsets leaving just a few generic makers of handsets to provide the hardware.
This is not so unrealistic. After the proliferation of PC makers following the popularization and licensing of the IBM backed Microsoft DOS (Disk Operating System), the rise in popularity of applications to run on these machines meant that over time, being a software maker rather than a hardware manufacturer was more profitable.
As a result, many of the originals such as Olivetti, IBM, Compaq, etc are practically out of the scene. IBM is now sold as Lenovo after being bought out of by the Chinese, Compaq was swallowed by Hewlett Packard and Dell is only now regaining its footing. Apple Macs generate considerably less noise than their iPhone, iPad and iPod stablemates.
What Nairobi Tech figures is happening here and will seek to investigate is that the field of mobile computing is gearing up for a possible four way battle that will be determined over the next two years.
Victory will be decided by application developers and mobile phone users. Which platform will developers go for and which apps will most capture users imagination?
For that I´m heading out to get an angle on the four major protagonists in this war:
Nokia with its MeeGo platform
Google with its Android platform
Apple with its iPhone platform and
Microsoft with its Windows 7 mobile platform
Research In Motion with its BlackBerry platform
etc etc...more later am off to talk to Nokia´s Head of Product Management, Michael Bramlage.