Jabber, of course, has been mobile for a while now with applications such as TipicME and AgileMessenger. But what I'm talking about is Jabber, Inc. They released a press release yesterday which announced their focus on mobile messaging and promoting the XMPP XML spec.
Jabber, Inc., the leading commercial provider of XMPP-based presence and messaging solutions, is adding a wireless instant messaging (IM) client suite to its product portfolio, making the company's product suite the pre-eminent offering to bridge mobile and desktop instant messaging users. This month the company is releasing clients for RIM, PocketPC, Smartphone, Symbian and J2ME compatible devices. Jabber, Inc. currently has gateways available for connectivity to WAP and SMS devices.
According to Jabber, Inc., each of the available clients connects wirelessly to the Jabber XCP server, making them technically interoperable with other IM and presence networks. Additionally, the company reports that due to the flexibility and extensibility of the Jabber XCP platform, mobile users will ultimately have access to a wide range of real-time enterprise messaging applications across an extensive spectrum of devices and networks. Each wireless client initially offers text-based IM and presence management features, while the RIM client also offers group chat functionality, otherwise known as text conferencing. ...
The RIM, PocketPC, Smartphone, Symbian and J2ME clients are currently available for evaluation, with general release scheduled for April 1, 2004.
The push for mobile instant messaging has been going on for a while now, but seems to be reaching critical mass now in terms of deals. This is just one announcement among many. The OMA is trying to push standardization, OpenWave announced the other day it was integrating MSN Messenger into its suite of products, and Canada's OZ just landed a big deal with T-Mobile USA. There's lots of players in the space already, as I wrote a year ago in a post titled Forget Mobile Instant Messaging as a Business Plan.
But reading that post, I can't believe that a year has gone by already! There just hasn't been as much progress as I would've expected. One would think a year is a long time, but Europeans are still sending billions of SMS messages and the Americans are still only slowly starting to get a clue. (I still regularly get short 30 second calls from people here. JUST SEND ME A MESSAGE DAMMIT.).
I guess it just has to do with the network and the phones. I've had a GPRS Symbian phone for over a year now, but most people are stuck on basic black and white handsets. Maybe this will be the year where Mobile Instant Messaging starts to compete against SMS?
I'm sure Jabber is hoping so... It'll probably be another year though. Oof.