A J2ME Ecosystem? Finally?
Java mobile technology has long had an advantage over BREW in that it is more globally known, has a longer history, has more readily skilled developers, and is not owned or controlled by a single company (Sun runs the process, but does not control it). There are also more J2ME (Java 2 Mobile Edition) phones in the market than BREW phones. But despite this, BREW has proved to offer a more manageable ecosystem for carriers and content vendors alike. The reason is that Qualcomm does control the BREW value chain, and this control allows the stakeholders to more easily understand where they fit, and how they make money. Sun, for years, missed the opportunity to provide a similar framework. Sun said they would make a (late) effort at last year’s JavaOne show, but so far…nothing. Enter Preminet, an organization coming out of Forum Nokia, which promises to codify the J2ME ecosystem the way Qualcomm has for BREW. This could be a good thing, but only if the value Preminet offers in organization is commensurate with their costs, and the loss of control stakeholders suffer. The reality is that no one likes to be controlled, but on the other hand: it’s darned hard to make money when the ecosystem is in chaos.