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OS Watch: RIM Battles Carriers for Mobile Money

Sarah Thomas
3/18/2011

What's in your (mobile) wallet? If it's up to BlackBerry , it will be a BlackBerry device, but if the operators' vote wins, it'll just be a SIM card.

RIM is butting heads with the wireless operators over who gets to control mobile wallet-related data, the Wall Street Journal reports Friday.

If, like the operators want, data -- users' credentials typically stored in a credit card -- are encrypted and held in the SIM card, it can be transferred with ease between device. If, per RIM's wishes, it's stored in the handset, consumers are tied to their phone. The battle is brewing over who owns the relationship with the consumer when it comes to mobile commerce.

As the WSJ points out, RIM typically does what the operators want, even holding off on embedding its App World until they were ready. But it appears to be drawing the line at mCommerce. Everyone, including carriers, handset makers, operating system providers and banks are testing out solutions in this area. And, since no one has a solid grip on the market yet, this likely won't be the last time competing interests butt heads.

  • Frag Watch: Productivity vendor ExB has launched its own Android alternative, a "personal Wiki" interface dubbed petitpetit (PTPT) that replaces the standard Android homescreen on a range of tablets, including Honeycomb ones. The interface runs databases in the background that can connect to other apps written for it, such as a universal messenger and browser that ExB has developed.

    The idea behind PTPT is that it rids Android of silos and brings together a user's personal content, but it also adds another element to the fragmentation equation. When everyone -- from carriers to handset makers to consumers -- can customize their own OS skin, it may becomes more difficult to issue uniform OS updates as the number of Android versions grows.

    The company has a video demo of PTPT below:



    To help tackle the fragmentation problem, Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) is beginning to offer more stats to developers on the devices, apps, languages and OS versions their subscribers are using.

  • HP Looks to the Clouds: HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ) is moving from being a hardware-centric company to one focused on mobile computing and the cloud, CEO Leo Apotheker said at an HP event this week. To help the company compete with Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) and Google, it also plans to design its own app store in conjunction with webOS. Apotheker said the company's goal, which has attracted criticism, is to become a leading provider of cloud-based services.

    In the following video, Fritz Nelson, editorial director of Light Reading sister-company InformationWeek sits down with Apotheker to talk about the future of HP.



  • Work Begins on Nokia WP7: Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) is ready and raring to get to compete with handsets based on Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)'s Windows Phone 7 OS. CEO Stephen Elop told Reuters that the first Nokia WP7 is already in the works, although it won't come to market until the end of the year. Nokia's close ties to Microsoft has already sent its stock plummeting, but one analyst firm believes it could ultimately help Nokia strengthen its standing in the U.S. Strategy Analytics Inc. says the partnership could help it take a 10 percent stake of the North American smartphone market by 2015 thanks to planned marketing support there.

    — Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

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