End2End buys Terraplay

Not too much is being divulged about the latest deal in the consolidation of the mobile sector other than that it happened: The Danish mobile platform company End2End has acquired the Swedish multi-player enabler Terraplay. If well-managed, this could be a smart move: End2End has shown some strength recently in managing the mobile content platforms for a couple of operators whilst Terraplay had quite a few wins in the early land-grab to becoming the operators' partner for the facilitation of multi-player gaming. Combining the two propositions is an imminent win: the true value of mobile games (beside killing time) is its always-on, anytime, anywhere nature. A mobile phone is a communication device, and connected gaming makes use of just that - communication.

Given that most operators/carriers seem to choose an outsourced solution (presumably because they have no internal bandwidth for this - relatively speaking - niche opportunity), the combination of a platform provider with a connected applications enabler is a great move. End2End had a need to ramp up their footprint to avoid becoming a little shadow player in the big land-grab. They have just added this little extra now!

Facebook for Blackberry

At CTIA, Facebook, the new $15bn company, and Blackberry maker RIM presented a downloadable application that powers Facebook on Blackberry devices. This is noteworthy for two reasons:

1. It shows the significance Facebook as gained in older age segments. Facebook is recording incredibly high numbers of new users from "older" segments, and these coincide nicely with Blackberry users who traditionally tend to come from the group of "mobile professionals". At the same time, RIM will certainly try to add to its cool factor for non-business use, and what better thing to waste your data allowance than Facebook?

2. The really noteworthy thing however is that the Facebook app for Blackberry shows how connected mobile applications should work: it is slick, quick, with good UI and works. This should be a wake-up call to OS providers, OEM and carriers alike: the Blackberry has a very close environment, and it controls much of the in and out. It is therefore comparatively easy to build an application that actually does what it says on the tin. This however is not god-given. With a unification of the crucial APIs on the carrier side and the platforms on the OS and OEM sides, it should be possible to create a basis for this to happen with all sorts of applications. I am very keen to see the first usage data for this app, and I really hope that FB and RIM will divulge this. They could do the whole industry not only the "next frontier in social networks" (Facebook's Moskovitz) a huge favour!