This Week in Mobile…

Apple move to protect developers

Last week saw Lodsys try to enforce in-app payment patents against App developers and not against the platforms themselves … This week saw Apple reply with words akin to “not on our watch”.

Surely Lodsys saw this coming? We speculated as to what Apple’s reaction might be, but in hindsight it’s obvious. EVERY platform’s success hinges on an active developer community, so Apple weighing in should come as no surprise.

I think Android and RIM may have missed a trick here. In some ways Apple have been able to confirm their place as the de facto in app payment platform as it was only their developers who were sued and it was only them that have responded. Surely the Android team or RIM leadership could have got themselves some column inches next to Apple on this?

Microsoft release Mango

The new Microsoft phones are out and are looking good – really good.  500 new features, integrated social networks and a host of language support (which happen to mirror Nokia’s major territories).

I’ve often stated that I believe Nokia and Microsoft will be one company by Q3 2012 and the activity of late seems to qualify this prediction. The synergy is there for all to see and I hope Autumn this years proves Nokia isn’t out of the running just yet! I certainly don’t think they are.

NFC Arrives and confirms our fears

Barclaycard and Samsung have teamed up to release their version of NFC and, predictably, this only works for Barclaycard customers who have a Samsung Tocco.

If NFC is going to become an established payment principle over the next few years, we cannot have multiple payment solutions rolling around … credit cards became so successful in part due to the fact they all worked the same with one reader per shop. Imagine if Apple, Google, Samsung, Microsoft and RIM all rollout their own systems each with its own reader, each with a select few brands trialling it – the result will be complete consumer confusion.

Unfortunately I can’t see who can put an overarching system in place. Visa and Mastercard aren’t known for co-operation, ditto for the Banks and MNOs. The only potential central point is EMV although in some ways EMV is a competitor to NFC.

Lets hope someone emerges as leader that others can adopt or we’re going to see one of the biggest advances in mobile technology spend the next few years in chaos.

Google announce their Mobile Wallet

Hot on the heels of Samsung, Google announce their Mobile Wallet (their version of NFC). Mobile Wallet will be included in the next version of Android phones later this year and will initially work at select stores including Macys and Subway.

Perhaps more interesting however, is that they were sued before they ended the day! Paypal are claiming that it spent three years trying to secure a deal under which it would create an NFC system for Android, only for Google to end the talks then hire the Paypal manager in charge of Paypal’s strategy.

This explains why Paypal have been conspicuous by their absence in mobile, but unfortunately gives us two rival NFC systems within the week!

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