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  1. #1
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    Is USA market for J2ME evaporating?

    ***Handango no longer promotes or distributes J2ME OTA content!***

    Now that the largest mobile content distributor in the USA ( www.handango.com ) has *stopped* distributing J2ME content, what is going to happen to the overall market?

    Handango have officially pulled all J2ME and OTA downloads off their WEB site (other than as supplied directly to their channel partners) and have stated that they intend to focus solely on WinCE, WinME, PalmOS and Symbian OS applications.

    Where do mobile consumers turn to, in the USA, for J2ME content these days?

    Is this the start/confirmation of the relegation of J2ME to 'Kiddie'/non-commercial status.

    Anyone know what is going on?

  2. #2
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    Re: Is USA market for J2ME evaporating?

    I think that mobile application is a hype.

    1. Who can really make a living from developing mobile apps? I guess only very very small numbers of companies (maybe not more that 10 companies).
    2. In your environments (friends, acquitances, colleagues. family) who has ever bough a mobile apps... Maybe only 1% or nobody has bough a mobile apps.
    3. If there are bright markets for mobile apps, there are lots more jobs ads in mobile apps. However, look at the job market, there are very very small requirements for a mobile apps developer in comparison with enterprise developer. A majority of mobile apps jobs ads are in relation with enterprise apps and these ads are very very small in comparison with the total IT jobs. Conclusion: it is very small chance that developers can leverage their mobile apps development skills to the real IT jobs. Most IT managers is regarding the mobile apps skill as second class developers in comparison with enterprise developers.

    Is it worth it to develop skills in mobile apps? Answer those questions with honest and avoid to make a denial about the gloomy future of mobile apps.

  3. #3
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    Re: Is USA market for J2ME evaporating?

    Symbianx,
    You make some good points.

    Where are you located? Is your perspective a European one or a US perspective?

    I would definitely like to see some marketing numbers out there for the absolute sales value and growth projections for mobile applications.

    It would also be v. good to see the % split between Games vs Enterprise for Mobile applications.

    ** Anyone have any links to some usable market information? **

    Your point about the Job market is an interesting one. Question is, is the lack of Jobs due to the unpopularity of mobile apps, or is it due to the early stage of the Mobile application market?

    If mobile applications is an early stage market, where will the money growth come from, Games or enterprise applications?

    Certainly, Handango's decision is significant. But there again, they are not abandoning mobile apps completely, only the J2ME kind!

    Can it true that J2ME is not profitable, but C++ apps are?

    Again, we need some numbers/data.

  4. #4
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    Re: Is USA market for J2ME evaporating?

    pcarew,

    If you look for numbers, usually can be bought via research firms (and these data are not cheap). The scarce available data is only the numbers of Java or Symbian phones.

    But I strongly believe that to draw conclusion about the size of mobile apps based on the numbers of phone devices can be quite wrong.

    People usually uses their phone mainly for voice, sms or small percentage for text (again, just look at your neighbourhood, are there lots of people who buys mobile apps?)

    Let me give an perspective:

    1. For Europe/America, the markets for mobile apps, especially j2me are dominated/regulated by network operators. If people wants to buy apps, usually they don't go to online shops/internet, it is easier for them to switch on their phone and to choose apps from their network operators. However to do business with networks operators are quite difficult/impossible for small developers (just try send an e-mail to them, and look whether your e-mail will be answered...).
    Although the market of Symbian C++ is better for small developers, since you can protect your software again piracy, more capabilities than j2me, .... etc, However your distribution channels are also limited. Only small numbers of not wellknown web stores that sell these Symbian apps (and again how many people ever buys and install Symbian apps? just for test, look at your neighbourhood again, I believe not many).
    2. For Asia market (outside Japan or Korea), sorry, I think that in this market, customers valuation for softwares is not high. (Look again the piracy ranks of some countries). In addition to the purchasing powers and currency valuation, I believe that this market is smaller than Europe/America.

    Some consideration to develop mobile apps: The certification costs (This certification is prerequisite for most reseller/network operator) are quite high. If your apps are not certified, forget it..., you can't not even sell your apps through wellknown reselerss/channels. Furthermore, you apps can not even access important API (networks API, ...etc for java.... or 40% of Symbian C++ api. How you can compete if you can not access important API?
    In summary, here are the costs to develop mobile apps: device costs (to test your apps), certification costs, your time, ...etc. Is these costs worth enough to get some decent profit for games or enterprise apps?
    I don't thinks so...

    Can small developers sell 10 apps with value of 10USD/EUR a day? (go to the online wellknown web stores and analyse the figure of each apps, you can see and maybe believe that there is no market for mobile apps... It is only hype..)

  5. #5
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    Re: Is USA market for J2ME evaporating?

    Things happened a little bit different in China. No one will buy a phone's software here, and still I can not see the future of this market.

  6. #6
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    Re: Is USA market for J2ME evaporating?

    Quote Originally Posted by pcarew
    Certainly, Handango's decision is significant. But there again, they are not abandoning mobile apps completely, only the J2ME kind!
    Just for note: Handago still hosts SE j2me applications. http://www.handango.com/sonyericsson...jsp?siteId=790

  7. #7
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    Re: Is USA market for J2ME evaporating?

    Kisember,

    I think your links are old...not updated. Have you checked the that link?

  8. #8
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    Re: Is USA market for J2ME evaporating?

    Quote Originally Posted by symbianx
    Kisember,

    I think your links are old...not updated. Have you checked the that link?
    Yes, I checked it before the post was made, and right now. It is working for me, maybe it is cookie or session related.
    Anyway, here is the root of the site: http://www.handango.com/sonyericsson/
    I hope it works.

  9. #9
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    Re: Is USA market for J2ME evaporating?

    Kisember,

    Maybe you have misunderstand, the link you have given is for Symbian-C++ apps shops, not for J2me. Only Symbian UIQ phones are available and the apps are only Symbian C++ aps. Can you buy j2me apps from your links? I don't think so.
    Currently, Handango doesn't host any j2me apps anymore. However, thanks for the link :-)

    Anyway it does not matter... my point here is mobile apps market is hype. whether developers believe it or not, it is up to them. I just want to trigger discussion here. Hopefully, I can learn something in this thread.

  10. #10
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    Re: Is USA market for J2ME evaporating?

    Sorry, my fault, I didn't try that page just check if it exists.
    Here is a link to a page where SE-K700 j2me applications are available.
    And here is the page that I see on my screen:

    To be ON: I used to make games but turning them to money is a hard thing. Nowdays a single developer or a garage company have no chance on the market. Only companies with many good managers could have success. My operator send a newspaper in each month with my balance. That paper show a game in two pages, I don't think if that game studio have financial problems.

  11. #11
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    Re: Is USA market for J2ME evaporating?

    In my opinion Handango sucked for J2ME. They didn't update their device list fast enough, had appalling service (with huge delays getting back to you if they even bothered to try) and their web-based product management sucked.

    Sadly though i think you'll soon end up with independent, country-based web retailers, and the carriers/telecoms giants. Trying to cover all of Europe with it's different carriers and literally hundreds of handsets requires a lot of effort and Handango, in my experience, didn't have the ability to do it.

  12. #12
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    Re: Is USA market for J2ME evaporating?

    You definetely can make a pretty good money selling your games in USA. The Sprint PCS sells about 2 million copies every month (the average 8-10 thousands per game-application) The only problem is to create some really decent application and find a recognized publisher to get into major carriers store catalogs (Sprint and Cingular combined have about 75 m subscribers and probably 10 m of them buy applications from time to time).

  13. #13
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    Re: Is USA market for J2ME evaporating?

    Hopefully the market for mobile apps will flourish.
    Last edited by symbianx; 2005-10-15 at 08:44.

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