Francisco Kattan

Insights on the Mobile Ecosystem

Posts Tagged ‘Verizon

In Hindsight: What Went Wrong with Adobe Flash in Mobile

[This is a repost of my guest article at Vision Mobile’s blog]

Ever since Adobe announced that it will stop developing Flash for mobile browsers, the blogosphere has been buzzing with a broad range of sentiments including “I told you so” by critics, disbelief by Flash developers, Monday morning quarterbacking by analysts, and even a petition for Adobe’s CEO to resign.  Check out also the Occupy Flash and Occupy HTML manifestos from the opposing camps. Flash is one of those topics that attract very emotional responses from both its passionate developer community and its very vocal detractors. Although I am generally an Adobe supporter, I will put emotion aside and summarize, in hindsight, what went wrong. For full disclosure, I am a former Adobe employee, but this post is based only on publicly available information.

HTML5 did not kill Flash. Steve Jobs did not kill Flash. The death of Flash was caused by a time bomb planted inadvertently by Adobe many years ago.

Although Flash for mobile ultimately died because Adobe did not adapt fast enough to post iPhone changes in the ecosystem, the seeds for Adobe’s failure were planted earlier on. To understand what went wrong, let’s first review what happened before the iPhone and how those events set the stage for what happened later.

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Written by Francisco Kattan

December 16, 2011 at 11:02 pm

The Mobile App Store Landscape 5 years Ai (After the iPhone)

[This is a repost of my guest article at Vision Mobile’s blog]

2009 was the year of the app store wannabes.  Following the remarkable success of the Apple App Store, OEMs, mobile platform vendors, mobile operators, and traditional aggregators either created new app stores or repositioned their existing offerings as app stores.  There are now between 24 to 32 app stores depending on who is counting (see Distimo’s app store report and the WIP App Store Wiki for reference), and more stores are surely to follow.  However, key questions remain about how the app store landscape will emerge after the current period of hysteria subsides and the dust settles.

– Are we going to see many app stores on each handset?
– Will app malls emerge to host multiple app stores within?
– Will operator stores gain critical mass?

[Or will we see a “no app store” future as proposed by Matt Millar via the comment thread?]

Andreas Constantinou wrote an excellent article that defines the app store building blocks and predicts a “dime-a-dozen” app store future.  I will build on this post, but will offer an alternative view of how the landscape will evolve.

It’s a Winner-Take-All Contest

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Written by Francisco Kattan

January 22, 2010 at 10:35 am

Why Droid will hurt RIM more than the iPhone

By now I’m sure you’ve seen Verizon’s aggressive “idon’t” campaign to compete against the iPhone with its new Motorola Droid.  This is Verizon’s second attack on the iPhone after the first attempt with the Blackberry Storm failed miserably.   Despite the Storm, AT&T continued to add new subs on the strength of the iPhone.  Just last quarter AT&T added another 3.2 million new iPhones, 40% of whom were new customers to AT&T (a 2 year trend now).

Although Verizon desperately needs to counter the iPhone, I believe this latest attempt will hurt RIM much more than Apple.   In other words, it will backfire cannibalizing more Verizon RIM devices than AT&T iphone devices.   Here are two reasons why:

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Written by Francisco Kattan

November 18, 2009 at 10:20 pm

Is BREW Dead? Lessons learned.

A while ago I attended Fierce’s Mobile Operating System Debate webinar and could not help but notice the dismal future of BREW as a platform for mobile application development.  As illustrated on slide 5 (see presentation from webinar referenced above), iGR found that ZERO percent of existing mobile developers surveyed planned to develop for BREW in the future.  We could debate the specifics of the data in the survey, but it is clear that BREW is losing developer mind share rapidly (while Apple, Google and RIM are all gaining share, as confirmed by iGR’s survey).

To make matters worse,  just yesterday Lowell McAdam, Verizon’s CEO, announced that Verizon (BREW’s biggest supporter) will be putting its weight behind the Java platform as part of its new effort to open its network to application developers.   Could this be the final nail in the coffin for BREW?  It’s not clear, but please voice your opinion via the poll below.  In any case, what is most important is to understand the key lessons learned from the BREW experience:

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Written by Francisco Kattan

June 3, 2009 at 8:29 pm