Feeds

Vodafone's Ovi-killer leaks

Federate this

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

The world's biggest global mobile network appears to be planning to put the skids under Nokia, Google and Apple's plans for mobile software. According to videos leaked to TechCrunch UK last week, Vodafone is planning a comprehensive services offering called "Vodafone People". Apple might not be too worried, but Nokia and Google should be.

VP promises to federate social network messaging, as well as stalwart offerings such as backups, sync, maps and app downloads. It will support both PCs and Macs, which Nokia's perspiring services leviathan, Ovi, hasn't been able to manage.

Judging by the promo videos, VPeople will bring together messaging including SMS, social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, and IM services, into a contact-centric UI. Since many people, particularly the older set, now use Facebook as their messaging service (it's the new Hotmail, really), and Twitter has superseded IM for some niches, this makes sense. Palm and 3 are also trying to federate messaging, so the users doesn't have to fiddle unnecessarily.

Vodafone is the largest global carrier; China Mobile has more subscribers, but only operates in two countries. Voda also has a 45 per cent stake in Verizon, which is driving pell-mell towards LTE. So there's a potential in settings standards. The clincher is really the price.

Google and Nokia will be content to continue shipping their own offerings on their own platforms - but really they want the operators to use their own respective services where they can.

Google has the best mobile Maps client, a popular email and calendar, and a decent photo sharing service. Nokia has a first rate professional Maps business that underperforms on mobile, and not much else.

Recently I advised Nokia to stop trying to be a mini-Yahoo!, and to give up on the social networking bits of Ovi. No one is interested in these services, and which are better done by Flickr, Picasa or Facebook - and a few key areas such as messaging, maps and music need attention much more urgently. For example, Nokia's flagship phone this summer shipped with a seven-year-old email client that can't read HTML. Ovi doesn't make Nokia phones more attractive - and may make them less competitive.

For Google it's possibly even more threatening, because they're not making any hardware revenue. (Nokia still makes handsets people like, even if they're running Flickr and Facebook, not Ovi.) Vodafone subscribers staring at the People app may not be staring at Google ads while they do, and Google won't be making anything from transactional revenue.

You can peek at the promos here. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Mighty Blighty broadbanders beg: Let us lay cable in BT's, er, ducts
Complain to Ofcom that telco has 'effective monopoly'
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
Ofcom tackles complaint over Premier League footie TV rights
Virgin Media: UK fans pay the most for the fewest matches
FCC: Gonna need y'all to cough up $1.5bn to put broadband in schools
Kids need more fiber, says Wheeler, and you'll pay for it
NBN Co screws lid on FTTP coffin
Copper and HFC dominate in new corporate plan
prev story

Whitepapers

10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Business security measures using SSL
Examines the major types of threats to information security that businesses face today and the techniques for mitigating those threats.