Category Archives: OHA

34 Weeks of OHA: #7

Open Handset Alliance Member Profiles (Week #7 – Esmertec )
For 34 weeks, each Tuesday, Jordan from will be joining us to offer a profile of each of the 34 members of the Open Handset Alliance.

Company Name:

How the OHA site classifies them: Software Company.

What the OHA site says about them: Esmertec is a leading provider of multi-media solutions and end-to-end integration services that accelerate time-to-market and reduce operational costs for OEMs and Operators.

What they do: We provide software platforms that enable the deployment of content and applications in devices and over servers. Our customers include mobile telecom operators and manufacturers of mobile handsets, set-top boxes and interactive televisions. Esmertec’s software and service capabilities excel with its reliability as well as fast and local execution.

Basically, they offer Java-based products for mobile and embedded systems. Their Jbed Java Virtual Machine (JVM) offerings come in a number of flavours, including a JVM and real-time operating system package that runs directly on the hardware, with no intervening bits. A focus of the Jbed system is to deliver powerful multimedia capabilities.

So, they’re another Java-on-handsets company. They breed like rabbits.

As owners of Cellicium, they also offer Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) services, the real-time messaging system for GSM phones that is commonly used to enable SMS and other real-time messaging.

What they bring to OHA and Android: They go into a bit of detail on this very question on their site.

Esmertec shares the Open Handset Alliance’s vision of enabling innovative and easy-to-use solutions for mobile end-users. We have actively contributed to this initiative with our OMA applications (MMS, WAP, DRM, SyncML, and IM).

The OMA offerings are Open Mobile Alliance standards – Multimedia Messaging, Wireless Application Protocol, Digital Rights Management (whew – and I was worried that Android might not have DRM), Synchronization, and Instant Messaging. So, they have the basics covered.

In addition to Android’s open source, Esmertec’s leading edge Jbed™ Java™ Virtual Machine (JVM) platform can easily be made commercially available on customer demand for the Alliance ‘s mobile platform. This option offers immediate and seamless compatibility with the standard Java ME world, leveraging thousands of existing Java ME applications.

For those wondering what a company offering JVM products has to offer a system with its own virtual machine (Dalvik), here’s the answer. All those existing mobile Java apps out there don’t have to be ported; just slap Jbed on your Android-running handset and all’s happy in Java world.

Finally, Esmertec also offers a full range of integration and development services for the Android platform that will help current and future players in the mobile value chain to reduce integration time, ensure operator compliance, and deliver enhanced multimedia functionality for new handsets quickly and cost-effectively.

Here’s an interesting angle: Android consultants. No doubt there’s great value in this proposition. If I’m a company looking to bust into the Android world, here’s someone to hold my hand. Help with porting apps, integration with existing Android features, customizing Android to my needs – a general wheel-greasing.

Sounds like an attractive offer, and one that may make Esmertec a major back room player as Android usage ramps up.


PacketVideo Brings TV to Any Wi-Fi Capable Phone

For user of phones and mobile entertainment devices without TV capability, your day has come. PacketVideo, one of the founding members of the Open Handset Alliance, has demonstrated a mobile receiver device that decodes digital TV signal and re-purposes it for use on phones.

The receiver is compatible with all of the major mobile standards like TDtv, DVB-H, MediaFLO, and WiMAX. Compatible with many phones including the Nokia N-series, Apple iPhone and HTC Smartphone devices, the receiver can be customized with the operator’s badge.

AG5 – February 16th Edition

It’s Saturday again so it’s time to hit you up with 5 AndroidGuys we think are worth another look. If this is your first time stopping by, consider this your Cliffs Notes for the last week. 3GSM/MWC has ended and now we start looking forward to the products and services coming in 2008. Android and the Open Handset Alliance are poised to place themselves prominently within the industry and we hope you’ll continue to rely on us for your news and opinion. To make sure you don’t miss anything important, subscribe to our standard feed as well as our podcast feed.

#1 – Android makes its official debut
Finally! After what seemed like an eternity, we get to see it in the wild. What was the initial response? It’s fast and doesn’t need much power to run it! Imagine the potential with cutting edge technology.

#2 – Reactions to new SDK are all over the spectrum
In what comes as no surprise to us, Android’s new developer kit is being compared to iPhone. This will be one of those cases where you can’t please everybody all the time. Get used to it.

#3 – Nokia picks Google for its search
Is it us, or does Nokia seem like they are being really aggressive with their purchases and alignments? Almost weekly, we hear of something else the cellular giant is doing to position themselves for the long term.

#4 – Microsoft likes Danger so much, they bought ’em
Does Microsoft want to make their own handset to deliver Windows Mobile to the masses? Now, if they ever get up enough money to buy Yahoo, we could see a super duper device deluxe!

#5 – LiMo is getting a whole lot more attention than expected
With a full year head start on the Open Handset Alliance, the LiMo Foundation not only debuted 18 handsets at MWC, they also announced 9 new partners. At 32 members, they are breathing down the OHA’s neck. Or are they already out in front?

This Week in Open Handset Alliance News (February 15th Edition)

We changed the title of our Friday round-up article but not by much. Formerly “OHA News”, all we really did was add a few words to the beginning so prospective readers get a better idea as to what’s in store when they open the article up. So how about that MWC/3GSM show, huh? All kinds of goodness came out of it. There was plenty to report on in or out of Barcelona. Without further ado, here’s a handful of things that went down this week for the members of the Open Handset Alliance

Motorola and Nortel have been making eyes at each other (Wireless Week)
Nokia likes Google a whole bunch (Uber Phones)
Piracy suit names eBay in case (TopTechNews)
nVidia potential buyer for AMD? (Engadget)
Intel offices raided by EU (Pocket Lint)
Network interoperability from Sprint (PhoneScoop)
LG reading minds with new phone (Just Another Mobile Phone Blog)
Review of HTC Touch Cruise (GSM Arena)
T-Mobile waiving activation fees through the 18th (T-Mobile)
Starbucks will let you keep using your T-Mobile HotSpot account for 5 years (Information Week)

Android Initial Reactions (Meta Review) – UPDATE

Rather than do a post for each tech site out there, we’re going to do a meta-review for all of the initial reactions coming in from around the web. We’ll dock this one at the top of the site and continue to add to it throughout the week. Bookmark this post or subscribe to the feed as we’ll be busy with this one!

It’s definitely very promising,” an analyst for technology research firm Gartner, Carolina Milanesi, told AFP. “This means that we should be on track to see commercial devices in the second half of 2008. Yahoo! News

The interface was quite snappy — it was almost exactly as swift as the emulated software on any PC — and it looks good and tight with lots of nice transitions et al. Crunch Gear

The interface is dead quick and rather glorious, and while we had no internet connectivity on it, we still were able to have a peek at various applications. In a few words, we like what we see. Engadget Mobile

The one thing I will say is, Android is fast, fast, fast. Like, OMG fast. Faster than any phone UI I’ve had a chance to play with before. Information Week

… you won’t have to wait that long until you can stick it to Microsoft with a Google phone – they’ll be out in the second half of this year. Sign us up.

34 Weeks of OHA: #6

Open Handset Alliance Member Profiles (Week #6 – eBay )
For 34 weeks, each Tuesday, Jordan from will be joining us to offer a profile of each of the 34 members of the Open Handset Alliance.

Company Name:

How the OHA site classifies them: Software Company

What the OHA site says about them: Nothing. The name eBay kinda speaks for itself.

What they do:eBay is The World’s Online Marketplace®, enabling trade on a local, national and international basis. With a diverse and passionate community of individuals and small businesses, eBay offers an online platform where millions of items are traded each day.

If you don’t already know what eBay is, you’re kinda beyond my help. They are, along with Amazon and Google, one of the pantheon of companies that have gone past web success story and deep into holy-sh*t-that’s-a-massive-company territory.

But they’re a company with spiritually uplifting goals, as well. Check out this bit: “Ultimately, eBay Inc. will raise the expectations—and aspirations—of people around the world as they seek to connect, discover and interact with each other.” Man, that’s groovy. eBay seeks to raise the aspirations of people in regards to the profit that can be had from the crap in their attic or by fooling people into paying exhorbitant sums for a picture of an Xbox (I know, I’m cynical).

The crown jewel of eBay’s empire is, of course, and its many international variants, the online shopping and auction powerhouse that is the locus for tens of billions of dollars worth of transactions yearly. eBay as a concept was a game changer, redefining the commercial possibilities of the Internet and truly making it possible to buy anything online (and, moreover, making it possible to profit by selling anything online).

In 2002, eBay acquired PayPal, the leading online money transfer service. Then, in 2005, Skype was purchased for an astonishing $2.6 billion dollars, an amount that eBay has since admitted was probably too much.

What they bring to OHA and Android: They’re one of the largest players on the Internet. That alone should be good enough.

In the auction space, I can’t see eBay on a mobile handset to be a big draw. Aside from being able to monitor auctions down to the last minute from wherever you are, what’s the point? A killer app, this is not.

PayPal, on the other hand, now there’s a great mobile app. Real-time money transfers on a mobile phone? The ability to not only pay for goods and services with your handset, but also get your friend the five bucks you owe? Making Paypal truly mobile puts it in a league where it can start competing with Debit cards or even cash. And if I’m making POS purchases using my phone, and eBay and Google can tap into that demographic information, the targeted advertising possibilities are staggering (and more than a little scary).

Skype is the other killer app, for obvious reasons in a world with WiFi-enabled phones and pay-per-minute talk-time models. As the largest player in the market, Skype has the clear advantage over any competition. In the VOIP universe, the size of the subscriber base is directly related to the convenience of the service. Already Skype offers mobile clients, and most likely they would for Android as well, but what if that client was completely integrated? What if your handset automatically made use of the Skype network to make calls when WiFi was available, or when that call was long distance?

It’s in PayPal and Skype that eBay’s membership in the OHA becomes exciting.

Starbucks Leaving T-Mobile for AT&T

Coffee giant Starbucks is moving from T-Mobile to AT&T for its Wi-Fi provider. And just like that, T-Mobile loses 7,000 HotSpots. In a deal that dates back to 2002, Starbucks was originally lined up with MobileStar and then T-Mobile. The switch is expected to happen in the second quarter of this year. So what happens to all of the current T-Mobile customers who already had an account set up? Good news! According to Starbucks, they get to keep their accounts.

“In recognition of the many T-Mobile customers who enjoy visiting Starbucks, the Company is also announcing that T-Mobile HotSpot customers will be able to continue to access Wi-Fi services at no additional cost, through an agreement between AT&T and T-Mobile.”

Source: Wi-FI Networking News
Source: BusinessWire