Image by Getty Images via Daylife The Mobile Internet Strategies discussion organized by the German American Business Association (GABA) in SAP laboratories in Palo Alto on June 11 gathered a diverse panel, regrouping backgrounds in the internet, software, mobile networking, and hardware industries. The questions raised concerning the evolutions and changes of the mobile phone industry due to the increasing use of the internet on the mobile were interesting. The panelists started by analyzing the recent evolutions of the market and how the main actors reacted to some profound changes provoked by the introduction of new products such as the iPhone and an increased use of the internet on mobile phones. Some elements were given to explain recent successes and failures. For example, Apple’s success is mainly explained by the fact that they created a platform, and that they made an easy-to-use open Software Development Kit.

The analysts then commented on the current situation, and compared some characteristics of the latest products, in relation to the strategy of the actors that launched them. Some trends emerged out of those behaviors, like more open source. Nokia indeed opened its Operating System (OS) Symbian.

Otherwise, the discussion dealt with the changes in the relations between Operating System developers and mobile carriers, like Apple and AT&T. With the rise of open source, and the enhanced use of mobile internet, carriers now only follow the evolutions of mobile phones, driven by OS developers.

Finally, the discussion focused on the recent introduction of the use of mobile phones in the enterprise, such as business applications. It seems likely that there will be a business related AppStore. Will a Customer Relationship Management application be the next killer application? Remaining security problems were also underlined as a limiting factor for this progression.

By Charles Gourio