Qualcomm Adds UI Tools to Brew
By Eric Lin, Tue Jun 08 07:45:00 GMT 2004

Qualcomm is making it easier for manufacturers and carriers to create a complete mobile phone OS using Brew. He who owns the OS, owns the customer.

Danger and RIM have shown it's possible to build an entire mobile environment, including a user interface, in Java. Now Qualcomm is hoping to enable the same sort of development using Brew, thanks to a new User Interface Toolkit released with today's update to the Brew platform. Qualcomm is hoping that adding a full fledged UI development platform to Brew will allow manufacturers to create custom branded interfaces for carriers, even across a number of different models.

Symbian and Microsoft both allow carriers to skin their smartphone OSes, however in the end they compete with both the carriers and the handset manufacturers for ownership of the customer. Adding a software brand name dilutes a carrier's brand, as well as diluting its revenue generated by traditional content like customization and games. Users can simply pick up the software elsewhere, usually from sites associated with the OS brand, an install it themselves.

Providing carriers with a way to offer subscribers branded, powerful and customized OS with plenty of downloadable content has become all the rage. In fact many of the carriers have put their weight (and their money) behind SavaJe, another Java-based OS. Now carriers like Verizon and KDDI who have chosen Brew instead, will have an opportunity to create their own mobile environment if they choose- and they probably will.