05 Jan

Top 10 Mobile Phones in the U.S. (Q3 2008)


Motorola on the top and Nokia on the bottom – wow. And in between in that order: LG, Apple and BlackBerry. Wow again. The US does operate differently than the rest of the world! 😉 I wonder for how much longer that will hold true.

The following handsets all support Java ME / MIDP or BREW, SMS and mobile web browser applications; except for the iPhone of course.

Rank Handset Share of subscribers Java ME/MIDP BREW (on Verizon) Browser SMS
1 Motorola RAZR V3 series 9.3% X X X X
2 Motorola MotoKRZR series 2.0% X X X X
3 LG VX8300 series 1.6%   X X X
4 Apple iPhone 1.5%     X X
5 LG VX8500 series 1.2%   X X X
5 RIM BlackBerry 8100 series 1.2% X   X X
7 Nokia 6101 series 1.1% X   X X
8 LG VX8350 1.0%   X X X
9 Motorola V325 series 0.9%   X X X
9 Nokia 6010 series 0.9% X   X X
Source: Nielsen
29 Dec

Worldwide and US mobile subscriber penetration (Dec 2008)

Worldwide Mobile Subscriber Penetration


With 42% penetration in 2008 and 53% penetration by 2014 worldwide.

US Mobile Subscriber Penetration


With 88% penetration in 2008 and 104% penetration by 2014 in the United States. The above numbers for the US matches the penetration numbers reported by CTIA for 2008 of 88%; as I blogged the other day, “as of today, CTIA reports there are 269,605,965 subscribers in the US, while the US census shows there are 305,477,551 people in the US (Dec 24 2008)”. By 2014 US subscriber based is projected to be past 100%.

Yes the above numbers for the US are lower and slower than other parts of the world, but taking into consideration the size of the US population, it really is a great penetration (i.e., it is much harder and takes longer to penetrate a very large population).

There is a correlation between population size and subscriber penetration. To show this below you can see the correlation between “advanced country” as defined by Tomi Ahonen’s in his book Mobile as the 7th Mass Media (a great book that I recommend) vs. size of population, with Japan being the exception; the list below follows the order of “Advanced Mobile Countries” table in page 285 of the book:

  • Japan Population: 127,433,494 (July 2007 est.)
  • Korea, South Population: 49,044,790 (July 2007 est.)
  • Italy Population: 58,147,733 (July 2007 est.)
  • Austria Population: 8,199,783 (July 2007 est.)
  • United Kingdom Population: 60,776,238 (July 2007 est.)
  • Finland Population: 5,238,460 (July 2007 est.)
  • Israel Population: 7,112,359 (July 2008 est.)
  •         :
  • Singapore Population: 4,553,009 (July 2007 est.)
  •         :
  • Hong Kong Population: 6,980,412 (July 2007 est.)
  •         :
  • France Population: 64,057,792 (July 2008 est.)
  •         :

The following countries are not in the list of advanced countries, but have the largest population:

  • China Population: 1,321,851,888 (July 2007 est.)
  • India Population: 1,129,866,154 (July 2007 est.)
  • United States Population: 301,139,947 (July 2007 est.) — in Texas alone as of 2006 there were 23,507,783


Source: Frost & Sullivan | Visions 2009 Paradigm Shifts in Mobile & Wireless Communications | J. Gerry Purdy, Ph.D., CIA World Factbook, Fact Monster, US Census Bureau

22 Dec

Gartner: Worldwide Smartphone Sales Reached Its Lowest Growth Rate, Nokia #1 Smartphone Company in Q3 2008

According to Gartner, worldwide smartphone sales reached its lowest growth rate with 11.5% increase in 3rd quarter of 2008. It also says that Nokia is the #1 smartphone manufacturer/seller:

Worldwide smartphone sales to end-users totalled 36.5 million units in the third quarter of 2008, an 11.5 per cent increase from the same period in 2007.

Nokia maintained its No. 1 position with 42.4 per cent market share in the third quarter of 2008, but for the first time it recorded a decline in sales of 3 per cent year-on-year (see Table 1). “Nokia is feeling the pressure from increased competition in the consumer smartphone market,” said Ms Cozza.

Table: Worldwide: Preliminary Smartphone Sales to End Users by Vendor, 3Q08 (Thousands of Units)




3Q08 Market Share (%)



3Q07 Market Share (%)

3Q08- 3Q07 Growth (%)







Research In Motion




































I believe Nokia’s lack of touchscreen handset that competed with the iPhone and Android (and others) really harmed them in 2008, and that releasing a touch-based handset in 2009 should be a top priority for Nokia.


19 Dec

On the Java Community Process: Expert Groups, JSRs, Observers and legal-related thoughts

Antonio Goncalves writes that Everybody should be able to easily observe JSRs.

Yes, I agree. But it really is more than just being able to observe. I was an Observer for the MSA 1.0 Expert Group (EG) and other EGs; but not all spec-leads are created equal. I quickly realized that for certain EGs, in this case MSA 1.0, being an Observer didn’t mean much as Observer’s input was not really taken into consideration and not followed up. A number of Observers were not happy about this, and I personally kind of gave up. Too bad, as it was their loss.

Part of the reason the EGs are closed is due to the Intellectual Property (IP) and related legal issues. That is the first thing that needs to be addressed, so that EGs can really become open. A true open process will have a common license and companies must be willing to give up the IP, otherwise, those companies unwilling to do that should remain on the proprietary business and not allowed to participate.

The other legal-related issue that needs to be addressed is that even though many people and companies contribute to a specific Java Specification (JSR), as I have, at the end the owner of the JSR is the company that led the JSR (i.e. Specification Lead); meaning that company will own all related IP created by all EG members, and that the company defines the licensing terms. I always found this totally unfair and this needs to changed as well.

As I predict, 2009 should be a big turning point year for Java, the JCP, and mobile Java…


12 Nov

Java Community Process 2008 Elections – Vote for Sean Sheedy

This upcoming November 17, 2008 is the last day of the JCP Executive Committee elections.

This year a number of individuals have chosen to run for the SE and ME seats side-by-side large companies; see the JCP Ballot. On the ME side, we have Aplix and Sony Ericsson running for election, and Sean Sheedy (individual).

And with this post, I would like to ask you to vote for Sean Sheedy for one of the ME seats (two are open).

Sean represents the developer community. Sean knows the mobile Java space, the issues involved both technical and poltical, he is passionate about it, he is vocal, and he really means and intents to make a difference. You can read Sean’s statement of why he is running for the seat.

While I considered running for election, I felt that Sean is a much better candidate; we talked about how to better serve the mobile Java developer community and the answer is for him to run, and for me to support him by helping reach developers, help disseminate information, and gather feedback from the developer community for Sean to use, who again, will be representing the developer community, which is a very good thing.

Note that to vote, you have to be a member of the JCP, but that joining the JCP is free for individuals.

For more information about how to participate see
JCP Java ME EC Election: Vote now for a Voice for Independent Developers (Terrence Barr’s Blog).