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September 20, 2010

Comments

Speed

I'm sure that Toyota and GM (or is Ford number two?) share your sentiments.

Evanfeldman.wordpress.com

You bring up a great issue! However, I wonder if there are other ways to extend your reach to all of those other platforms without having the expense of deeply developing on all the minor different platforms. Cozi does have a passable mobile website, the question I would have is why not build out the mobile website to a higher degree (think what Facebook did with touch.facebook.com) that would generally render well on all of the different smartphone platform out there?

However I think part of your motivations is the ability to be "featured" in the platform's application market and thus having a quick and available shortcut to the service. Obviously prominent placement in the Apple App Store did wonders for Cozi :-) ...

This could be addressed by creating a "wrapper" application that adds some additional on device functionality onto of the mobile web site which would be embedded into the app. In theory this could mean a small amount of development work on these minor platforms, but wouldn't necessarily require making a "HUGE" investment especially since you didn't even consider Meego in addition to Windows Phone 7, Palm, and BB.

But of course life is simpler with only 2 contenders since it helps to reduce the number of tools needed. But HTML apps really can be cross platform to a decent extent and the heart (brains?) of the app can be something that could thus be shipped out to as many platforms as needed -- assuming that the platforms continue to (and improve) the ability to render it.

Peter H.

I'm curious why you did not choose to implement Cozi's mobile experience in HTML 5. This has been well hashed in other places, but it seems for a wide swath of applications there are few to no benefits of going to the expense of building an native app. And with HTML 5 you could just pivot the argument of the 3d place platform customers back to their vendor- we'll gladly support the device when it supports HTML 5.

Jody

Er, so you want Android and iPhone to die?!

Smartphone OS's Q2 2010 top three are Symbian, RIM, Android.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smartphone

So, are you targeting the US market only or globally? In the global case you are completely off the mark.

tzenes

I have to say, that most of your arguments seem to lack data to back them up. Your initial assertion is that you'd wish RIM (who makes Blackberry) would disappear so you could have a larger market penetration (you're not the only one). However, this logic suffers from the fact that RIM has the largest Smart Phone OS following. According to Comscore, RIM has almost 40% market share in the Smart Phone market. By comparison Apple is at 23% and Google 17%.

I'm not saying that I don't understand your frustration, working on multiple platforms is a headache, but I think you've sort of missed the boat here. By developing for RIM you could double your market penetration...

Later on you seem to suggest that Vista is the result of a lack of competition, but Apple's market share was growing by 16% back in 2006 (when Vista was released, today it is growing at 20%). Certainly Apple benefited from the poor quality of Vista, but their velocity predates Vista's launch. (cite: Gartner)

You also bring up Nintendo in comparison to Sony and Microsoft in the console market. But the Nintendo Wii has sold 30.6 million units compared to Microsoft's 21.6 million Xbox 360s and Sony's 13.4 million. While month to month sales of Wii have lagged in Summer 2010, it still out sells the Playstation 3. (cite: NDP)

I understand as an independent software vendor, too much competition is bad for business, but I think you have a heavily slanted point of view based on which companies you personally favor. If nothing else, I'd take a second look at developing for the Blackberry. While it may be losing market share today, there are still 21 million RIM phone users who you could be selling your product to.

theone

HTML5 is your answer.

no_more_walled_gardens

Just make a web interface that works on mobile browsers. There is simply no need for a native app for something such as cozi.

Jan Miksovsky

tzenes: I appreciate the thoughtful comments; thanks for taking the time to share them and for your readership. As you, Evan, and several others have pointed out, RIM has bigger phone market share in absolute terms. But I am skeptical of the proposition that they have bigger market share in terms of phones that get heavy application use -- the sort of phone an ISV cares about. Or, at least, the sort of phone Cozi users care about. The vast majority of Cozi's mobile users have iPhones; there's simply no contest. This was true back when we didn't even have an iPhone app, and only offered a mobile-optimized web site. And Android is coming up quickly. Our customer service feedback shows that far fewer Blackberry users ask for Cozi. We could go through the expense of creating a Blackberry app (and regularly consider this), and while it might double our addressable market, it's unlikely this would double our market penetration as you suggest. And as for Symbian, I can't recall hearing a single piece of feedback about Cozi's mobile site from a Symbian user. Overall, I don't think I have a bias towards the companies I personally favor (I personally resisted our entry into the iPhone app market); I have a bias towards the companies my users favor. YMMV.

I don't make video games, and don't follow the market closely.The source I checked showed that Nintendo currently holds the #3 position. But they could be wrong, or I could easily have misinterpreted their data. And regardless of which companies are in which position, I think my initial point still stands: 2 platforms are better for the ISV than 1 or 3.

Having joined the Vista team when the project got underway (about March 2001), I can attest to the fact that Apple's small market share definitively contributed to a sense of complacency on the team.

Everettm

Ouch, Jan! This post is harsh!

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