SonyEricsson has announced a competition to encourage the development of third party applications for its forthcoming P800 Symbian smartphone.
The P800 features a colour touch screen, integrated digital camera, MP3 player, MemoryStick slot, full suite of PIM applications and tri-band GPRS connectivity. The Symbian OS supports the development of mobile Java, C++ and XHTML applications. The SonyEricsson Application Proclamation will find the 50 most compelling applications for the platform and provide them with marketing exposure through partner e-tailer Handango. Winning developers will also receive a complimentary P800 and development tools from Metrowerks.
“The idea is to demonstrate how SonyEricsson, through our Developer World program, can help developers through the entire process of taking an application to market. We can provide developers everything they need to be successful: tools, training, and a path to profit,” said Rikko Sakaguchi, Head of Corporate Function Application and Content Development at SonyEricsson. “We’re challenging developers to step up and create the coolest and most original applications for the P800 Smartphone, and we show them how to turn their code into cash.”
This competition has caused a certain amount of consternation among grassroots developers, especially those which have been programming for Symbian platforms since the days when applications could be compiled in OPL on handhelds like the Psion Series 3a. The reason is that SonyEricsson plans to charge a $500 registration fee for entry into the competition. This is a drop in the ocean for established developers, but may well discourage new and innovative entrants from developing for the platform.
It is refreshing that SonyEricsson is emphasising the importance of third party development, but it would have been preferrable to see two competitions – one aimed at individual progarmmers and another for professional development firms. That said, the exposure provided by SonyEricsson’s marketing machine and prominent placement of the Handango web-site should ensure that development costs are easily covered by the boost in sales and accompanying prestige.
Originally published by PMN Mobile Industry Intelligence, the subscription-based analysis and insight platform founded by Marek Pawlowski.