I was very impressed with meeting Mike Lazaridis briefly at the Symbian Smartphone Show a few years ago and am a big fan of the mHealth lead that their enterprise division is taking, so I took time out to watch his keynote which I found was a really good lesson in saying exactly what your customer (mobile operators) want to hear.
Mike talked about the frustration that is arising from the “data crunch”, and quoted Rysavy Research predictions that within 3 to 5 years we’ll completely exhaust our networks. It’s time to wake up to the fact that there isn’t enough spectrum available and unless we start appreciating it there is going to be a “capacity crunch”.
By launching in the early US market BlackBerry lead in this as they’ve “…built ourselves on what was little more than glorified paging networks. Mobile email and applications we built in a Scalable and sustainable way”. It’s not a surprise that their devices have the best battery life around it’s because they’ve learnt the need for more use of apps to have less need to use the radio.
The facts were presented in a “Spectrum Conservation” (the percentage of Bytes Communicated) slide that showed how a BlackBerry Browser enables a “Carrier to support 3 BlackBerry browsing users for every one other user”. He also introduced their “New WebKit browser” that is replacing their rendering engine and which offers efficiencies that “respect carriers networks” – a phrase that I hope every mHealth developer is understanding and including in their presentations to network operators.
Mike also gave his opinion of App Stores:
> “What matters is quality not quantity” as Blackberry have proven when they “wrote the best messaging application – one people love”.
> The need for devices to offer native applications that can support multitasking “BlackBerry always enabled multitasking. Copy and paste and sharing of data between applications – so that their the applications produced by developers can talk to one another – even if their developers never did!”. ]
Not a lot of people get the importance of this (eg. Apple) but for me it’s a smartphone fundamental and becomes a no brainer when you want to use something like an anti theft application (vital for Doctors, bankers etc who might use their mobiles to access sensitive data), no background running means you have to remember to activate it… which in the real world just doesn’t happen!
> “Super apps… …apps you wonder how you will live without them” and gave eBay as an example “adds auction to your calendar, auction end alerts arrive into your inbox” as well as “7digital” which enables : downloads of a low bitrate version track when you’re on the cellular network, and waits until you reach a wifi network to automatically get the 100MB version.
These apps are “seamless to use and integrated with the 4 main (native) applications” and are made possible by their “Multithreaded operating system”
> BB Enterprise Server Bundle offering “Enterprise Social Networking” so that companies (like the NHS) can bring the advantages of collaborative tools to their businesses.
This blog post is part of a series of mHealth reviews from the Mobile World Congress 2010. Click here to get the full review.