Apple, Google, Palm, Microsoft, RIM, Nokia and Symbian are among today's leading mobile platforms. Some are being developed within Silicon Valley's Mobile Golden Triangle, while others call the mobile communities of Redmond, Helsinki and Waterloo home. While geographic proximity doesn't matter much for individual applications built on different mobile platforms, Knowledge Center mobile and wireless analyst J. Gerry Purdy explains how the mobile industry as a whole benefits from having these large communities of experienced mobile developers in close proximity to one another.
seems amazing to me that three of the leading mobile platforms today
are being developed near each other within Silicon Valley. This is an
area that is approximately south of Highway 92, north of Highway 17,
bounded on the east by the San Francisco Bay and on the west by the
foothills-although there's no real boundary. I have nicknamed this
interesting proximity of Apple, Google and Palm the "Mobile Golden
Triangle" since the shape of the lines connecting the three companies
on a map is triangular. In other words, if you connect the
locations of these companies, they look like the three points of a
Let's map it out. Apple is working on the iPhone platform (operating
system, App Store, iTunes) in Cupertino. Set that as point one.
Then, go about 10 miles northwest up Highway 85 to the Bayshore Freeway
(Highway 101 at the Rengstorff House). There you'll find Google working
in Mountain View on the Android platform (Android operating system,
Market Place and general mobile applications such as Search and Maps).
You'll also find Microsoft working on much of Windows Mobile in their
Mountain View campus at Shoreline and Highway 101. Set that as point
Next, go southeast about 10 miles to Sunnyvale and you'll find Palm
working on the new Pre platform (Web operating system, Synergy and Apps
Store). Set that as point three. And, if you go about 10 miles back
southwest from Palm, you'll end up back in Cupertino at Apple.
Yes, there are two other major mobile development platforms
elsewhere: Nokia's Symbian Foundation (in the Espoo area of
Helsinki, Finland) and RIM's BlackBerry (in Waterloo, Canada). While
Symbian and Nokia both have major offices in the San Francisco Bay area
in this same general Triangle area, these offices are focused on market
All of the major mobile platform communities do very good work, but
there's a special synergistic effect in Silicon Valley due to three of
the major mobile development communities being so close to each other.
More importantly, this proximity results in a number of other benefits
for the mobile industry as a whole, including:
1. Source of engineers
With three major mobile developers within close proximity of each
other, the Mobile Golden Triangle provides substantial engineering
talent, both from one major company to another but, more importantly,
as a network of qualified developers within the area.
2. Professional networking
The Mobile Golden Triangle allows for local members to network at
professional conferences, local get-togethers and community
interaction. This helps developers gain knowledge and understand the
latest trends and new development processes from other developers.
3. Great climate
The Mobile Golden Triangle may not have the best weather in the
winter (compared to south Florida), but it's one of the best climates
from April until October, with overcast mornings (caused by the San
Francisco Bay's micro-climate), clear sunny days and almost no rain.
4. Magnetic attraction
Because there's a lot of hype over Apple's iPhone, Google's Android
and now Palm's new Pre, this positive reinforcement acts like magnetic
attraction, bringing the best developers from around the world so they,
too, can be part of the action.