Delivering the keynote at the company’s 2010 Open Developer Conference, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse emphasized Sprint’s commitment to developers with three additional announcements that prove Sprint is delivering on promises to promote innovation and improve scale, monetization and discoverability of applications. Today Sprint announced:
* New Sprint ID partners
* Industry-first mobile commerce via the Sprint Mobile Wallet
* Industry-first Communication Enablement to create innovative voice and SMS products
Sprint is enabling an ecosystem for the developer community and moving the company further along the open continuum, Hesse said, by delivering these capabilities in addition to the already announced:
* New Sprint Services Framework
* New partnership with Openwave to introduce the first ecosystem to deploy enhanced services within the browser
* The opening of Sprint’s new M2M Collaboration Center to accelerate 3G and 4G M2M and embedded solutions.
Mobile applications are the fastest growing wireless segment in the industry. In fact, mobile application downloads across all handsets worldwide are poised to grow from 7 billion in 2009 to almost 50 billion in 2012 – a year-over-year growth rate of 92 percent, according to Chetan Sharma Consulting. Store revenue from smartphone app downloads will exceed $11 billion in 2014, up from just over $800 million in 2009, according to Yankee Group.1 The bounty of economic opportunities this creates for the developer community is only as limited as their imaginations, and Sprint is helping fuel those imaginations during its 10th annual application developer conference this week.
“By adding these developer capabilities to Sprint’s strengths in networks, devices and platforms, it should be clear we are dedicated to being a carrier known for simplicity, value and ‘open,’ and for providing what developers need to create innovative applications and services for Sprint customers,” said Hesse.
Today Sprint announced new partners for Sprint ID, the user-friendly new way for Sprint customers to personalize their Android™ experience. New additions to the list of companies endorsing the concept of Sprint ID and exploring the creation of Sprint ID packs include enterprise partner Deluxe and consumer partner AOL, as well as UPS, Canvas, IHG and BodyMedia. Developers at the conference are learning that Sprint ID offers opportunities for them to create apps that may be included in packs or to create their own packs, including enterprise-oriented packs to improve the productivity of mobile workforces.
Announced earlier this month at CTIA, Sprint ID allows users to select, on one of three new Android smartphones, ID packs that feature apps, widgets, screensavers and more bundled in one convenient download. Up to five ID packs plus the My ID basic Android experience can be added with virtually a single touch, allowing users to seamlessly move between experiences. Through packaged, relevant applications, Sprint ID gives both powerhouse brands and start-ups a chance to provide context for a multifaceted, rich experience. It gives businesses the opportunity to improve the productivity of their increasingly mobile workforces.
According to the Pew Research Center, more than one third of U.S. adults own smartphones, but three out of four of those owners don’t use many of the smartphone’s features. It’s not because they don’t want apps that are cool or make their lives easier; it’s because finding the right content is simply too confusing, time consuming or even intimidating. Sprint ID is the answer.
For developers, Sprint ID welcomes more wireless users into the smartphone world and makes it easier for them to navigate the growing sea of personal and business applications. Sprint ID is about helping customers discover and use apps. If users are discovering apps in greater numbers, developers are going to be more successful. During the conference, Sprint ID will be featured in breakout sessions, discussed during the Android coding lab, and demonstrated in the exhibit hall. Information is also available at http://developer.sprint.com/sprintid.
Sprint Mobile Wallet
Sprint also announced today the upcoming launch in mid-November of Sprint Mobile Wallet, an easy, secure way to buy physical and digital products using a Sprint phone. Sprint Mobile Wallet also will make it easier for developers to monetize their products.
Sprint Mobile Wallet is the first mobile payment solution of its kind from a U.S. carrier. It allows customers to use a universal PIN to make purchases using their Visa, MasterCard and Amazon Payments accounts along with other payment methods, right on their phone. There’s no need to enter credit card information with every purchase – customers just select Sprint Mobile Wallet at checkout, enter their PIN, and choose their payment method or account from those saved in the Sprint Mobile Wallet.
This new capability is different than carrier billing. With the Sprint Mobile Wallet, Sprint is providing a safe, secure “container” for customers to easily use traditional payment methods while on-the-go. Sprint partner CardinalCommerce (www.CardinalCommerce.com), a leader in enabling authenticated payments and currently facilitating millions of transactions online every month, hosts the secure transactions. Once a customer enters his PIN, it is encrypted and sent to CardinalCommerce, whose technology enables the transaction between the customer and the merchant.
Thousands of merchants use CardinalCommerce for online payments and would have the option to easily accept Sprint Mobile Wallet. Merchants who plan to accept Sprint Mobile Wallet include SkyMall, Gameloft and Namco, with more coming soon. Sprint Mobile Wallet will be available on a variety of Sprint devices and can be used at no additional charge by customers on an Everything Data plan. Initially, Sprint Mobile Wallet will be available to download through Sprint Zone. In 2011, it will be preloaded on many new Sprint devices.
For the developer community, Sprint Mobile Wallet enables developers to set up commerce more easily and quickly with one simple integration to the Sprint Mobile Wallet service, avoiding the need to integrate directly with each payment company. Once integrated, developers, and merchants generally, can provide a simple purchase experience to most any Sprint subscriber without the need to fill forms and input payment data. Developers can also use Sprint Mobile Wallet within their apps and take advantage of another way to monetize their apps outside the controlled walls of an app store. Developers will be able to learn more during the conference and also through the developer site.
Voice and messaging continue to be among the most used services on a mobile device, yet they have seen little innovation in years. At last year’s Open Developer Conference, Sprint announced voice services as an area of focus in the coming year. Sprint is delivering on that promise with communication enablement, available through the Sprint Services Framework. Rather than building a one-off implementation with one partner, Sprint has exposed services that allow developers access to any device on the network, putting the customer in a position of picking a winner and putting innovation in the hands of the developers. Communication enablement brings new features to developers, providing deep access into the voice and messaging products that until now were not possible.
Sprint’s goal is to enable third parties to seamlessly extend their mobile communication services using the Sprint platform. Imagine a social networking site integrating mobile communication preferences into its available features, an in-home gaming service providing in-game calling and messaging, or the ability to have mobile calling and messaging capabilities available to you on any connected device, even when you don’t have your device with you. These types of innovative services are only the beginning of what developers could potentially create with Sprint communication enablement services. This is another first from Sprint and a clear indicator that Sprint is committed to having the most open network. Developers can learn more at http://developer.sprint.com/sprintapis
Sprint Services Framework
Earlier this week Sprint announced enhancements to its Sprint Application Developer website with the introduction of the Sprint Services Framework. The Sprint Services Framework provides a single Web 2.0 interface for developers to access application programming interfaces (APIs) directly from Sprint that offers developers seamless capabilities across virtually all Sprint devices, including mobile handsets and embedded devices, operating systems and development environments (e.g., Web pages and applications). Developers can learn more at http://developer.sprint.com/sprintapis.
Sprint Browser-VAS Ecosystem powered by Openwave
The new Sprint Browser–VAS (value-added services) ecosystem powered by Openwave, also announced earlier this week, will introduce the first ecosystem to deploy enhanced services within the browser. Today developers are challenged by fragmentation in operating systems – different systems and different versions within the same OS – and by many form factors and capabilities of devices. Sprint’s partnership with Openwave is changing that and delivering a revolutionary opportunity for developers to create apps that will execute in the browser and work across platforms and form factors. Developers will learn how to create apps and services for this ecosystem during the conference and can find out more at http://success.openwave.com/developer-app.html. To meet the challenge of discoverability and monetization, Sprint’s Openwave deployment will create a unified storefront, expected to be available in the first half of 2011, which is similar to what exists within the application space today.
M2M Collaboration Center
In conjunction with the Sprint Developer Conference this week, Sprint opened the M2M Collaboration Center in Silicon Valley and announced 30 inaugural partners. M2M is about taking wireless beyond the mobile phone to interconnect a rapidly proliferating variety of other electronic devices. These include laptops, tablets and netbooks, signboards, cameras, appliances, remote sensors and utility meters. Sprint offers its reliable nationwide 3G network and Sprint’s 4G network capability – the only 4G service available from a national wireless carrier. Companies with new product and service ideas for machine-to-machine and embedded computing now have a place to bring them to life in direct collaboration with leading names in networking, computing and applications technology.