LiMo Foundation head talks up need for alternative app ecosystem

17 Nov 2011

LIVE FROM GSMA MOBILE ASIA CONGRESS 2011: Morgan Gillis, executive director of the LiMo Foundation, this morning highlighted weaknesses in the existing app regime, arguing that “there are still some drawbacks with the existing pair of dominant ecosystems.”

“From a developer point of view, there are business model conflicts which are proving to be stubborn to overcome. From a user point of view, the discovery problem still hasn’t really been solved. And from an industry point of view, there is an observation that a duopoly might not be the most healthy and balanced situation,” he said this morning.

“Our observation is that the traditional app stores don’t work perfectly from a business model perspective, for content providers and application providers. In particular the premium model and in-app billing is not particularly well supported. Not because it is particularly technologically difficult to do that, but because sometimes there are some strategic conflicts and some business model conflicts, and the will to overcome those doesn’t always exist,” Gillis continued.

The intention of the Foundation, he said, is to “provide very efficient and very frictionless channels to market for innovative applications. Our focus on enabling that is really through unblocking the channels to market as much as possible, and providing a device platform that doesn’t come with any business model conflicts.”

The executive noted that the Foundation’s move to integrate its platform with the mobile Linux efforts of Intel is intended to create a “service neutral, business model neutral platform, which provides a non-conflicted route to markets for apps and content.” While he said that the intention is to take a pragmatic approach to apps, the work has “a very strong focus on web applications as the perspective third ecosystem.”

Gillis also said that the work of LiMo Foundation is “highly complementary” to that of the Wholesale Applications Community (WAC). “In fact, most of the major proponents in the two initiatives are more or less exactly the same companies,” he said.

He noted that the focus of WAC has “evolved a bit during the past couple of years.”

“Really the WAC focus today is on strategic APIs, which will allow key operator services to be deployed in a cross platform and cross carrier context,” he said.


Steve Costello

Steve works across all of Mobile World Live’s channels and played a lead role in the launch and ongoing success of our apps service. His next challenge is to manage and grow our devices channel. He has been a journalist...More

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