Is an era of open-ness in mobile upon us?

By August 26, 2008 11 Comments

In a good sign for the mobile eco-system T-Mobile is planning to open an app platform for all their phones. This is good news because mobile apps have historically been a graveyard for entrepreneurs and investors and like the Apple App Store the T-Mobile open app platform takes out one of the big breaks on innovation – the operators.

Hopefully we will see similar initiatives from other operators and then I’m sure someone will find a way to integrate the different app stores to create an effective single market.

I picked up the link to the T-Mobile story from a post by Umair last week entitled What Apple Knows that Facebook Doesn’t. There is a lot of good stuff behind this link but I particularly liked this:

Apple took something terminally closed – the mobile value chain -and pried it radically open. Facebook – still thinking in yesterday’s terms – took something radically open – the www – and is trying to make it a little bit more closed.

For all Apple’s history of closedness it is just possible they will end up unleashing a wave of competition in the mobile industry which is based on how open people can be. IMHO that would make the mobile world look a lot more like the PC world and unlock a lot of value.

By contrast, Facebook looks less likely to have a strong long term value play – looked at through this lens at least.