Carnival of the Mobilists #50

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Welcome back to MobHappy for the jubilee 50th edition of the Carnival of the Mobilists. It was a year and a week or so ago that Russell kicked off the first Carnival, and it’s good to see things still going strong — so many thanks are in order to all the hosts of the past year, and of course all the contributors. Without you, the Carnival is nothing. And of course Russell deserves some kudos for keeping the whole thing together.

People lately have been keen on giving the Carnival a theme each week. This week, I’m hard pressed to come up with anything other than the flu, since that’s what I’ve got, but somehow that doesn’t seem too appealing. So I think I’ll leave the theme out this time and just get on with things, and without further ado…

One of the things I’ve grown to love best about the Carnival is how it pulls together people talking about the same issues or stories, but looking at them from completely different angles. A great example of that this week is Michael Mace and Stephanie Rieger talking about the rise of the smartphone at the expense of the PC and the PDA, respectively. Michael says that comments coming out of the Smartphone Show from Symbian management about the strength of smartphones remind him of people saying the PDA would kill the PC several years ago. But like PDAs, smartphones aren’t optimized for the creation of information and content, and he says this means the PC is safe for some time yet. Stephanie says that despite flatlining sales, there’s some life left in the PDA market, since they still fit a number of market niches, notably the educational market.

Anders Borg takes a look at the effort required to create mobile apps and services, and says that despite its shortcomings, Java ME remains about the best choice for application development. One of those shortcomings is fragmentation caused by the different implementations of Java by different handset manufacturers. Jason at Paxmodept chimed in this week with a look at the recently announced third-quarter handset figures, but from a developer’s perspective, noting how manufacturers’ market share translates in development environments. And while we’re talking about fragmentation, Thomas Landspurg wonders if widgets will present the next interoperability nightmare.

Justin at Mopocket details an email he received from Citibank about an upcoming test of a mobile payment system with Mastercard and Cingular. Mobile payments are an application that’s proven popular in Japan and South Korea, the two most advanced mobile markets in the world, but have struggled to gain a foothold elsewhere, for a variety of reasons. This fits in with Ajit Jaokar’s contribution this week, wondering if mobile innovations from those countries are destined to stay there, with their success in other places limited.

Elsewhere, Wap Review gives mobile UGC site Treemo the once-over, Martin Sauter this week looked into how 3G license pricing affects deployment of 3G services, while Matt Miller, aka The Mobile Gadgeteer, reviews a 3G device, the Nokia N91. Rudy de Waele has a comprehensive overview of proximity marketing, which dovetails nicely with my own experience with a Bluetooth-enabled ad poster. Finally, looking at the business of the business, Chetan Sharma has a thorough report on the future of mobile advertising, while Tomi Ahonen takes The Economist to task for overlooking mobile in its recent telecoms survey.

All in all, another week packed with great reading, and after some consideration (and cold medicine), I’ve settled on Michael Mace’s post on smartphones as PCs as my pick for best of the week. Thanks again to all the contributors, and see you all next week at Tarek Speaks Mobile.

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