Smartphone Show 2008: Motorola predicts a whole new (open) world

With the rate of mobile phones being sold every minute fast outpacing and leaving in its wake the number of babies born in the same time frame, mobile developers should be looking to open platforms to give users want they want.

So says John Ellis, director of business developers at Motorola's software, platforms and ecosystem arm, speaking at his keynote speech during the opening day of the Smartphone Show in London.

There are currently 2.8 billion mobile subscribers out there, with 1.2 billion handsets sold least year and just under 2,500 mobiles being sold each minute massively overshadowing the rate of 245 births each minute - pointing to an industry that is a force to be reckoned with, according to Ellis.

With industry experts predicting that there will be more than 3.4 billion subscribers by 2012, there is a lot of potential out there for mobile developers to capture the hearts and minds of a growing audience.

"But how are we going to get there? It's no surprise that the fundamental technology trend we see is open. Open is making a large scale assault on the world. It's getting to be a bigger and bigger winner and Motorola is proud to be a pioneer in open," Ellis enthused.

"Open platforms are accelerating development and the beneficiary is you the developer. Open platforms are accelerating innovation and the beneficiary is the industry at large. Open access is changing the rules of the game. And there is nothing more open and democratic than the web. The mobile web is the game changer in mobile. In this world, people are trying new things and differentiating as there are no predefined constraints as to what can and can't be done."

As the number of subscribers and handsets explode, users' appetite for richer content and personalised experiences is also set to grow. And that, in turn, will create a thirst and demand that will drive data revenue, which carriers will then use to invest in infrastructure to make applications even better, according to Ellis.

"They want the most personally relevant, most personally satisfying experience possible. And they are willing to pay for it," he said. "The web is the great equalizer in mobile. It provides a defragmented environment; it provides equality and democracy. It's not longer about the platform it's about that experience and passion and that is what is driving subscribers."

In order for this brave new world to succeed, changes will occur and challenges will be presented, but Ellis has words of wisdom to share with the assembled delegates.

"You need to quickly adapt and respond to these challenges in order to innovate in the mobile space. Please do not look to the PC model and try and recreate that in the mob space" he said.

"The new world of open will enforce a meritocracy. If you're not prepared for it, it will pass you by. [Secondly], empower the developer Do not for a moment think that you are not at the forefront of our minds. Lastly, do not try and fence in the ecosystem. The ecosystem is bigger than you. Do not try and control it, rather embrace it and take it for the ride."

Maggie Holland

Maggie has been a journalist since 1999, starting her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. In 2006, just weeks before ITPro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of ITPro, she was appointed group editor of CloudPro and ITPro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for ChannelPro, in 2016.

Her areas of particular interest, aside from cloud, include management and C-level issues, the business value of technology, green and environmental issues and careers to name but a few.