eWEEK Labs on IBM/Sun: Deal Could Be a Boon for Mobile Devices
TECH ANALYSIS: Mobile and wireless communications may not be a driving force behind the reported possible merger between IBM and Sun, but the potential for significant advances is intriguing. Combine IBM Lotus Sametime with Sun's Java, and the possibility of mobile phones becoming unified communications platforms for both businesses and consumers gets closer to reality.Buried deep within the bowels of IBM's Website is a December 2008 paper from the IBM Institute for Business Value, called "Go mobile, grow ... Should mobile Internet services be the next big growth gamble for mobile device makers?" The gist of the IBM paper is that as mobile device hardware becomes commoditized and differentiation is based more on bundling and the user interface, mobile device makers need new growth opportunities. Specifically, "Mobile device makers, with their existing broad audience, ability to integrate hardware and software, and their collaborative business arrangements with mobile network providers and Internet service providers, have an opportunity to gain a foothold in what is likely to become a highly competitive market," according to the paper.
With this in mind, when I consider the potential sale of Sun Microsystems to IBM, I have to wonder if maybe the melding of Sun (and Java) with IBM (and Lotus Sametime) could help significantly drive the mobile feature phone industry forward. Specifically, if the sale could move it toward a time when the feature phone morphs into a purpose-built unified communications platform instead.