AT&T to go all Symbian

An article tells us that AT&T Wireless intends to run all their phones on one platform as soon as 2014, namely on Symbian. Is this odd? I mean: the iPhone isn't Symbian, is it? 

It is of course not odd. The carrier wants to avoid platform fragmentation (see also here and here) which has made it hard to develop mobile applications (and one might well now think that they indeed had a very powerful showcase paraded past them over the last 5 months: see here), and their Director of Next Generation Services, Data Product Realization (can't they have shorter job titles?), Roger Smith called Symbian "a very credible and likely candidate" to be "the One".

AT&T intends to
 provide an own-branded smartphones and they reckon - rightly! - that it would be a "support nightmare" would they run this on various platforms.

Mr Smith also came up with some damning verdicts about J2ME: it failed to deliver a simplification for application developers and, moreover, doesn't allow developers to get deeply enough into a phone's OS to deliver the kind of experiences consumers want (what are these, I ask? Not having to put up with clunky and unintuitive restrictions? Ah, now I get it).

Symbian, Android (see here) or another one: the path is, I reckon, the right one. And it is a milestone for Symbian (and one probably only possible because of the decision to go open source with it) as it would wrap up one of the largest carriers in the world under its wings.

iPhone content is recession-proof, too!

Is it becoming boring or is it becoming more and more exciting? However you view Apple's forays into mobile, it is very, very remarkable (and I do indeed think exciting) indeed: in ads in the NY Times and the Washington Post (see here), the company reports 300,000,000 downloads in 5 months (I leave the zeros in for mere impact...). That's 2.1m downloads per day - on a single handset model, which isn't even the single best-selling one (well, it probably is of recent, but not historically) and is normally only available through one carrier per country (which means that it could also have been, say, 10m downloads per day if extrapolated to the total user base). Woah! Is anyone still skeptical about the equation pretty hardware + pretty UI + hassle-free shop-front + single platform + single distribution outlet = success for content?

The iPhone's fashion factor does, I think, not matter when it comes to the download numbers: If the above chain would not work, people might smile slightly embarrassed and continue fiddling around with the pinch-z
oom of pictures, etc but they would not come back time and again to get more content for the thing; I mean: just running around with it and placing it onto bistro, bar, cafe and probably even Starbucks tables will be enough to prove your membership in the circle of the hip and trendy media crowd.

There's only anecdotal reports (or rather rumours) about how much money is being made by developers on the platform (we still suspect a lot of it will be in the "free" category but one rather reputable games publisher apparently said that they're making more money on the AppStore than through all of Vodafone Global) but these numbers are - in any event - huge!

And it does show that content works if you let it work, i.e. if you make it easy to publish on a platform and if you don't try to be your customer's nanny and determine what's good for them. If people would realize this, and that would be the only lasting impact of the iPhone, that would surely be a lot! Thank you, Mr Jobs!