Factors driving open mobile ecosystems ..


I seek feedback on this concept.

As I have mentioned before, I am working on a new book Open Mobile Ecosystems co-authored with Anna Gatti and Mauro Del Rio and contributions from Dr Andreas Constantinou

Here is an elevator pitch for the book

I have been talking of OpenGardens for a few years now, and these are the factors I see which are driving openness in the Mobile Data Industry today.

Question is:

a) What do you think of them and

b) Have I missed any?

Thanks for your feedback

So, here is the elevator pitch

The Mobile Internet has always held potential – but so far, it has not been fulfilled. While the Internet and the Web continue to grow and evolve into a vibrant ecosystem, the Mobile environment remained fragmented and closed.

To fulfil its true potential, the Mobile ecosystem has to mirror the open ethos of the Web. The good news is – recent developments give cause for hope. In many instances, these are driven from the Web rather than from Mobile. While open systems themselves are timeless and inevitable, their practical manifestation to the Mobile Internet is driven by a few key recent developments. Hence, this book represents our selective viewpoint about these developments

There are three major interrelated developments that are impacting the openness on mobile networks at different levels of the stack:

a) Open source on mobile devices at the software/operating system layer

b) The deployment of the full Web on mobile devices at the application later and

c) Social networking at the services layer

This book will focus on these three aspects above. We will see their individual (and combined) impact in creating an open ecosystem on the Mobile Internet. Hence, this book presents a specific viewpoint. We have chosen to focus on these three developments because we believe that they are most likely to impact the Mobile Internet as it stands today.

We can further break these down into emphasis on the following developments:

a) Webkit implementations

b) Mobile Ajax(full web browsers) including DOM extensions/browser extensions and devices APIs(Application programming interfaces)

c) Privacy and security for the Mobile Web

d) Microformats

e) The iPhone

f) Android

g) Linux on mobile devices

h) Open social networks

i) Offline browsing

While Open Mobile covers a wide scope (such as mobile payments, mobile advertising, location based services, mobile content, mobile search, mobile social networking, digital convergence and others .. ), it is always within the context/viewpoint of the factors listed above.

So, what do you think? Are the factors and subfactors correct?

Thanks for your feedback


  1. Kdude says:

    Good stuff – however, define open mobile ecosystem? In your article, you are mostly referring to the technical aspects of openness. However, this has NEVER been an issue in regards to openness. It’s the business (model) side what has made things difficult.
    As an example, iPhone has shifted the industry into the right direction – probably more than anything else. But why? Not because they have something unique (except for the user interface) – it’s because they have been able to do so. SDKs, iTunes Store of apps, business models etc. have always been there on the table but the operators have said NO NO NO to all the other manufacturers.
    Open world is not possible without the operators losing power. It’s happening but much much slower than we anticipated back in 1998 when the origins of OMA were created. If it takes Apple to speed up things, so be it.