The goliaths of the web–Google, Apple , Amazon et al.– represent more opportunity than threat for small-but-innovative mobile infrastructure players, at least according to the small-but-innovative infrastructure players themselves.
What companies like Appcelerator, Cotendo and Urban Airship–which all work with web developers to speed delivery of content to consumers–really worry about is the growing fragmentation of the software stack they work with as well as potentially hobbling patent litigation.
“Fragmentation is occurring at every layer for the stack–at the tools level, at the clouds themselves, the carriers and everything in between,” said Jeff Haynie, CEO of Appcelerator, speaking at the Mobilize 2011 conference on Monday.
Another, related issue, is the rise in IP litigation which makes nearly everyone nervous, said Scott Kveton, CEO of Urban Airship. ”The lawyers are killing it, and it’s a bummer because it’s stifling innovation.”
Patent battles are raging around the industry with Oracle’s ongoing litigation against Google for its use of Java in Android, as a high-profile example.
Perhaps more mundane a problem is the age-old issue of latency.
As more people demand richer and more dynamic content, there’s a technology challenge, said Shlomi Gian, GM mobile services for Cotendo. “As content gets more dynamic and less cacheable, we still want it fast. We want it as fast as our desktop. today it takes 10 to 12 seconds to load a page. That gap is an opportunity,” Gian said.