Optical/IP Networks

Desperately Seeking Killer Apps

It's not a bad idea, but do we detect a hint of desperation? Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications has issued what it calls an "Application Proclamation" (a.k.a. a cry for help) to the world's developers of mobile applications, in a bid to make its next-generation handset, the P800 Smartphone, interesting enough to buy (see Sony Seeks Killer App).

Basically, the company wants developers to create truly compelling applications and then give them to Sony Ericsson. The 50 best will then feature on the P800. You never know: If they're really good, people might even buy the Smartphone instead of Nokia Corp.'s (NYSE: NOK) 7650 handset.

But in setting this challenge to thousands of socially-challenged garage-dwellers who never see the light of day, it may not have pitched itself strongly enough. The company "challenges developers around the world to step up and create the coolest and most original applications for the P800 Smartphone," for which the originators are offered "exposure and real opportunity."

What kind of temptation is that? "Give us a killer app to put on our phone and we'll make you stinking rich," is surely the kind of offer that would excite some serious interest.

While you're looking to see how many weeks are left until the 31 October deadline, spare a thought also for the internal applications development team at Sony Ericsson. We reckon they might be in need of a hug. — Ray Le Maistre, European Editor, Unstrung

rt007 12/4/2012 | 9:54:49 PM
re: Desperately Seeking Killer Apps The article is very misleading. Sony Ericsson are not doing anything that NOKIA didn't do with the 9210 and 7650. The P800 is a much more superior device to the 7650, offering a larger screen that is touch sensitive and a later version of EPOC, so it should run software that has already been developed for the 7650! I've been a loyal NOKIA customer since 1997. I've owned all their communicators and currently the 9210 which was a fiasco, being rushed out the door before it was ready. Sony Ericsson have a better approach and I will be strongly considering their future products over NOKIA's. Thank you. Richard Twyning
jmcminn 12/4/2012 | 9:54:41 PM
re: Desperately Seeking Killer Apps Just like any business driven by technology rather than designed for users, a company releases a cool product without a "cool" application. Technology is great, but you aren't going to make money unless it is designed for users and they are willing to pay for it.

EPOC and Symbian OS have a long way to go. Palm OS sucks (and I still use it) but we know that it doesn't take a good product to win. Look at Microsoft.
cliffjumper222 12/4/2012 | 9:54:40 PM
re: Desperately Seeking Killer Apps The prizes seem to be a combination of application development software and a promise of a listing on Handango. Does this make sense to anyone? I have to buy the software development kit to make an app, win a competition just so I can win a IDE/SDK? They do mention a development system too, but I have one of those as well.

How about this instead - Sony pays me $1 per app per handset?
spc_rayella 12/4/2012 | 9:54:31 PM
re: Desperately Seeking Killer Apps I am curious as to how this article is misleading. If it was the mention that people might buy the P800 instead of the Nokia 7650, then that was more a reference to how dominant Nokia is in the handset market and that Sony Ericsson needs all the help it can get to boost its market share. Let me assure you, I have nothing against SE handsets, and DEFINITELY nothing in favor of Nokia phones. No sir!

What makes Sony Ericsson now look worse in this instance is that I have been informed by a developer that if you want to submit an application to Sony Ericsson under this scheme, you have to pay $500 for developer support fees.

Now, I wonder why that wasn't mentioned in the company's original release (a release noted for how many times the word 'cool' was used - very last millennium...)?

And I am not for a second suggesting that Sony Ericsson might be the only company ever to have done this - all the vendors have developer programmes. But putting out a press release was obviously intended to attract some attention. And it did! This is free publicity - we should be charging for this stuff!!

Ray Le Maistre
Sign In