mGage

Mobile Life Beyond the iPhone

David Murphy

The fantastic momentum generated for mobile applications by the iPhone has created a huge opportunity for the industry to reach a far wider, mainstream market. So says mobile technology company Mobile Distillery, which notes that the iPhone makes up just 10.8% of the Smartphone market (according to figures from the analyst, Gartner), with Smartphones in total making up only 13.5% of total mobile device sales.
The iPhone has done wonders for raising awareness of the mobile phones potential as an application platform, says Mobile Distillery Co-founder and CEO, Eric Lemarchal. Yet there are many other devices that could support similar applications and services. Without addressing these, companies are missing a large audience.
Lemarchal adds that most mobile applications being developed currently are built initially for the iPhone, instead of being made available for other handsets, which would increase market reach or achieve faster monetisation.
Many devices already exist which support features, or subsets of features, similar to that of the iPhone but to port applications onto these can be complex and expensive and requires specific skills, he says. The technology exists for mobile developers to simplify this process Alembic iPhone Planner and automated porting suite Celsius. With the Alembic iPhone Planner, features used in the original program can be selected to see how many other phones can support them.
Lemarchal points out that Celsius can import the resources from an iPhone project automatically, to kick start the process. Using Parametric Development, a single code can be developed which will generate a native code for each target phone, making the best use of each phones resources, rather than seeking the least common denominator.
The iPhone has opened many doors, but being able to address as many other phones as possible with minimal effort is key to bringing applications to the majority of the mobile market, concludes Lemarchal.

Eds Note:
Monday 31 August, is a Bank Holiday in the UK, so our full coverage of the mobile marketing scene will resume on Tuesday, beginning with a round-up of the highlights of the last few weeks.