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We’re delighted to announce two of the speakers at our MobileBeat2009 conference, to be held in San Francisco on July 16.
The conference comes at a time of considerable tension in the mobile industry: Apple is getting ready to release the next version of its iPhone this month, containing a bunch of new features, even as other players such as Nokia, Palm, Google/Android and Microsoft are unleashing — or are about to unleash — credible alternatives.
Kicking things off will be a panel featuring Tero Ojanpera (top left), board member of Nokia and head of the OVI store which launched last week, to some controversy (more here). The launch marks the start of Nokia’s effort to regain the initiative on the mobile application front. Nokia is the world’s largest mobile phone manufacturer, but has been under represented here in U.S. in part because it has refused to submit to the heavy-hand tactics of local carriers.
Apple’s iPhone has stolen most of the thunder here in the U.S., with its sleek design, multi-touch interface and easy-to-understand application store. Everyone has asked what Nokia’s next step will be. Nokia, we hear, is yearning to showcase its stuff to the market, including the ability of its main operating system, Symbian, to actually operate more than one application at a time in the background — an area where Apple’s iPhone falls flat on its face. (Using an Nokia N97 or E71, you have three days of battery life, can scrobble while plugged into Last.fm, browse the web, hop over to post on Twitter, grab RSS feeds, upload photos on Facebook, scan email, and check your calendar through Exchange — all at the same time). Of course Android can do this, too, so Symbian must now show how it can keep up.
Symbian has only really been open source since December. Also, Symbian is now becoming a public brand, after previously communicating primarily with industry partners.
Joining Ojanpera on a key panel to discuss the mobile ecosystem will be Michael Abbott (top right), SVP of application software and services for Palm. The Palm Pre’s launch later this week is the other key mobile development: Palm’s fresh, Silicon Valley-based open operating system, “Web OS” represents a frontal attack on Apple’s iPhone, Symbian and Android. Just this week news came out that the Pre will sync with iTunes. Palm says its operating system represents the next step for mobile platforms — best for developers because Palm says its platform will be the easiest to develop for, and best for consumers because application are integrated on the Pre to such an extent that the user interface experience surpasses anything that has come before it. Until now, you’ve had to got your address book to make a call, and to your messaging interface to send an IM. But with the Pre, you can do all of this from a single place: From the address book, you’ll be able to make voice calls, text, access social networking, and so on.
We may be announcing another speaker on this panel shortly.
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See our recent post about other speakers, including Matt Murphy of the iFund, Rick Segal of the Blackberry Partners Fund, and Russ McGuire, of Sprint.