Emblaze Mobile: A Chicken & Egg Conundrum

26 11 2009

Mobile phone maker Emblaze Mobile, an Israeli start-up, unveiled their contender for the smartphone market yesterday, the First Else. Featuring a brand new Linux-based operating system called Else Intuition, which they developed jointly with ACCESS; the handset aims to put applications on the centre-stage rather than the phone itself.

The video above provides an overview of the look and feel of the new handset and some of the applications which all looks extremely impressive, but I also feel this may prove to be the Achilles heel of this handset.

Two years ago, the Apple iPhone first hit our shelves and has since revolutionised the way people use their mobile handsets. Despite its hi-tech prowess however, the winning formula of the phone has relied heavily on Apple’s iTunes store that offered a range of third-party content, most importantly applications.

Despite a range of native applications already available on Else Intuition and the established ACCESS developer network, will third parties be tempted to invest time, money and marketing budgets on this unknown platform? The level of investment may also be a barrier to entry for some developers, with first looks at the operating system signalling significant levels of design and integration required.

Also, how will the handset itself meet the demands of developers looking to maximise market penetration with only a handful of applications compared to the tens of thousands on the Android, Symbian and Apple operating systems. With operators also looking to boost their developer friendly credentials, such as Orange with the launch of a new forum, Emblaze Mobile faces a challenge if they truly want to change the way we think about smartphones.

I wish them the best of luck in solving this and can’t wait to get my hands on the handset.