Sun and Mobile Java

Okay, so today I'm just going to talk about Sun and Mobile Java (thus the title). Instead of just slamming it all down as one big ass post, however, I'll be posting the parts as I write them. This is for two reasons. First, I know that many people don't read long weblog posts. They skim them and go on with their lives. Which makes sense since most of what I'm writing is usually just long-winded ranting in the first place. Secondly, there's bunch of different sub-sections that I think are important, so rather than just plop it all into one post, I'll divide it up a bit so that it's a bit easier to digest and comment on/link to.

The reason I'm getting into it now is that next week is JavaOne and Sun this year is going to stress how amazing their mobile offerings are. And the fact is that their penetration in the mobile phone market is pretty impressive. I think by the end of this year, there are going to be hundreds of millions of Java phones out in the market and basically all but the absolutely cheapest mobile phones are going to have Java installed. Considering all the dynamics of the mobile manufacturers which are currently tripping up Microsoft, this is a major coup for Sun.

If you think about where Java came from this makes a lot of sense, Jave was meant to run on low powered devices. But I think honestly that Java's success in the mobile market is DESPITE of Sun rather than because of them. In 1999 it was DoCoMo who went to Sun and chose their technology, thus proving that the model for downloadable Java applications was a viable strategy. It's Symbian who despite Sun's hatred for Personal Java, has integrated it into their OS at a core level. It's the developers who despite having a mine-field of acronyms to navigate on Sun's site and a neutered spec in MIDP, have dedicated themselves to creating interesting applications for mobile phone users to download.

I'd say that Mobile Java is its own beast - a wild thing that is for the most part out of Sun's control. I think that its success has taken Sun by surprise and created a host of issues that are now coming to forefront as more and more developers get interested in the platform. Those issues are what I'm going to rant about today. :-)


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