It’s the final panel at Mobile 2.0 Europe, featuring panelists from Blyk (Leif Fågelstedt), Admob (Laurence Aderemi), GetJar (Ilja Laurs), Bango (Ray Anderson) and Fjord (Chris Liu) and moderated by an ebullient Mike Butcher. The theme of openness has been a central one here in Barcelona. Everyone seems to agree that openness is good, but nobody can agree quite what openness means or what should be open and what can remain closed. The iPhone, for example, has been held up as a beacon of innovation, but the iPhone is also closed in a number of respects, especially around native application development.
Interesting comment from Chris of Fjord – do we need a “Microsoft” for Mobile (i.e. a single vendor who can dominate the operating system space)? Ray Anderson’s response (which I agree with) is that that common platform could be the Web (and I would add, mobile Widgets which run on top of a runtime environment). Coming back to the iPhone, the thousand+ mobile Web applications in Apple’s directory should be a indication of this trend. The only problem with Web apps is – no access to device capabilities (camera, location, PIM etc…). But this is coming. Both Ilja and Laurence have spoken up on the power of mobile advertising to help bootstrap mobile innovation. We haven’t heard too much from Leif about open business models — they are pretty focused on their basic “voice and text” proposition. My question was: will mobile (Web) advertising morph from simple banners into “branded experiences” such as mobile widgets where the widget itself is the advertisement? No clear answer from the panel but I’m convinced this is the way forward.
Phew! What a day! Lots of contraversy, lots of industry expertise, lots of startups. In short – a fantastic debut for Mobile 2.0 Europe! I need a drink!