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'iPhone only' not enough for a mobile strategy V.J. | , 11:59 a.m. Aug. 7, 2009 2009-08-07

According to leading mobile technology specialist Mobile Distillery, the great momentum generated by the iPhone for mobile applications has created a huge opportunity for the industry to reach a far wider, mainstream market. The iPhone makes up just 10.8% of the smartphone market according to figures from analyst house Gartner, with the smartphone market only comprising 13.5% of total mobile device sales. This means there’s potential for broader reach.

'The iPhone has done wonders for raising awareness of the mobile phone’s potential as an application platform,’ said Eric Lemaréchal, CEO and co-founder of Mobile Distillery. ‘Yet there are many other devices that could support similar applications and services. Without addressing these, companies are missing a large audience.’

Currently most mobile applications being developed are built initially for the iPhone, instead of being made available for other handsets, which would increase market reach or achieve faster monetisation.

‘Many devices already exist which support features, or subsets of features, similar to that of the iPhone but to port applications onto these can be complex and expensive and requires specific skills,’ continued Lemaréchal. ‘The technology exists for mobile developers to simplify this process – Alembic iPhone Planner and automated porting suite Celsius. With the Alembic iPhone Planner, features used in the original program can be selected to see how many other phones can support them.’

Celsius can import the resources from an iPhone project automatically, to kick start the process. Using ’Parametric Development’ a single code can be developed which will generate a native code for each target phone, making the best use of each phone’s resources, rather than seeking the least common denominator.

‘The iPhone has opened many doors, but being able to address as many other phones as possible with minimal effort is key to bringing applications to the majority of the mobile market,’ he concluded.

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