Cellular technology developer Qualcomm, Inc. is pushing hard to promote its BREW Mobile Platform (MP) operating system as the development platform of choice for software makers looking to create and distribute applications for smartphones.
However, it may be a tough sell as more developers opt for Apple’s iPhone and emerging Android OS-based devices.
Qualcomm’s 3Pre program was announced in January to promote development using its BREW platform, and provides support to mobile device manufacturers, operators and members of the developer community with a focus on integrating core, pre-loaded applications.
The problem is that BREW is not a favorite development platform, especially since the introduction of the iPhone, Android and Windows Phone 7 operating environments. In fact, Apple recently claimed more than a billion downloads of iPhone applications thus far, with that number growing every day.
Google’s OS Android presently has a 28% share of the U.S, market (up from 20% last year), compared with 21% for Apple’s iPhone OS, according to figures released earlier by the NPD Group. Research in Motion remains the market leader in the U.S., however, with a a little more than 48% market share, says NPD.
It’s Bigger than Most People Realize
BREW presently operates in 25 countries and generates more than $3 billion in revenue for BREW applications developers. The company says there are now more than 250 million addressable BREW devices and more than 1,400 BREW-enabled handsets.
The operating system enables advanced capabilities such as touchscreen, rich multimedia, window management, open platform extensibility and expanded support for native application development.
Qualcomm has also since expanded BREW from the CDMA wireless platform standard to include HSPA, which is more widely accepted and supports the faster and more robust demands of 4G networks.
Under Qualcomm’s 3Pre program, the company is working with key software providers to optimize, pre-integrate and distribute key software components with the BREW MP operating system, allowing developers to distribute their applications prior to the launch of new handsets in order to reduce development time and cost.
The 3Pre program offers applications from multiple software companies for numerous application categories, including browsers, messaging, navigation and others. To date, more than 25 companies are participating in the program.
“Qualcomm is committed to advancing the reach of BREW MP, and subsequently delivering richer applications and better experiences to consumers using a range of devices across the world’s largest markets,” said Mitch Oliver, vice president of ecosystem development for Qualcomm.
As part of its efforts to increase the influence of BREW, Qualcomm has partnered with vendors that are involved in emerging new areas for smartphones. One of these is Bluestreak Technology, which integrated its MachBlue platform into BREW to support 3-D user interfaces and mobile video streaming.
Qualcomm is also partnering with a developer to offer BREW-based mobile cloud synchronization software – allowing users to sync address books, calendars, email, pictures, and files on their mobile phones; as well as work with others on social networking applications, said a spokesman for the company.
Just this week, Qualcomm also announced the availability of an application store to bring BREW applications and services to consumers in open markets. The first application store will be managed by SINA, the largest infotainment Web portal in China, allowing both local and global developers the opportunity to reach one of the most significant consumer markets for apps and services in the world, notes Qualcomm.
The open market application store provides Chinese consumers with access to a full range of paid and free content, apps and services for download.