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Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has told the US Federal Court that his company assembled a team to contemplate entering the smartphone market, as he wanted to compete with Apple and Androind. The team formed in 2009, as Oracle was in the process of acquiring Sun. Ellison's latest testimony in the Battle of the Larries, the case in …

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B-D
Headmaster

Typo, line 3.

Do Androinds dream of electric shneep?

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Oracle isn't entering the smartphone world

This is a ploy to make people/the court think that Android is competing with Oracle using their acquired Java technology. I doubt they actually seriously considered becoming a smartphone provider.

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Devil

Re: Oracle isn't entering the smartphone world

Oracle and Sun before it has been a (smart)phone software provider for many years through Java Mobile Edition.

The main reason for SnOracle to throw toys out of the pram is that:

1. It was collecting revenues for Java off most smartphones and a lot of feature phones. It will no more. It was getting money for nothing on this one. 99% of the few people who had code for java mobile edition have rewritten it for Android nowdays.

2. Google delivered where SnOracle failed. Java mobile edition is an overall failure. It was used only for minor features and featurettes - it was never backed by an app distribution channel, infrastructure and it never offered its developers access to the full power of the underlying hardware.

So this suit is actually about Google successfully terminating SnOracle (smart)phone software provider business (present and future). Larry has never been particularly forgiving about his company losing a revenue stream and, to be fair, there are very few occasions where he has lost one. It is not surprising that he is not taking it in very well.

In any case, Google should have gone with Python or even Ruby for Android instead of entering the "write once, run nowhere" quagmire. In a day and age when Apple has made all software developers write in Objective C once more anything in possible :)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Oracle isn't entering the smartphone world

Whew. Saved from "Select * from phonebook where contact_name equals 'wife' "

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Re: It was getting money for nothing on this one

Not wanting to stick up for oracle, but they did shell out a fair bit of cash so not exactly money for nothing, revenues form this would have affected the price they paid for Sun.

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Oracle saved

If Oracle had entered the smartphone market they could have make a loss like RIM is doing, like HP did with WebOS, like Nokia.

If they decided not to because of Android then they should be suing Google for _minus_ $billions the 'damage' was obviously negative.

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Sun beat them to the punch

This isn't something just out of the box.

During the Sun era we had Java ME ('Mobile Edition') which allowed you to utilize Java on a smaller ('embedded') environment. To put it differently: you could write programs which would be targeted specifically for phones. It was fun (IMO) but also challenging since the environment offered but a part of what you could do with a full Java environment ('Java SE'). This has always been point of discussion.

However, what a lot of people don't seem to know is that Sun has also worked on a so called JavaPhone API (link). This would allow you direct (but controlled) access to specific options in the telephone environment itself (control over the telephone part, access to the messaging part, etc, etc).

To my knowledge it never went beyond version 1.0 but the layout was there. And it was also around that time (iirc that is) that rumor about a Java phone started. However, although the rumors never stopped it seems to me that Sun already realized that this wasn't a feasible project.

While the programming language maybe good that doesn't imply that it will be suitable to build a whole phone around it. And I think that's what Sun also realized. Even in the days where Java was much better known than it seems to be in these days.

So don't be too quick to brush this story away as fiction, but quite frankly I don't see it happening anymore. People don't go out to buy phone's merely because its 'Java'.

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Re: Sun beat them to the punch

I think Suns problem was always a blind faith in ME, never accepting that it hobbles devices down to a 'not quite a smartphone' level and never delivered on the WORA promise. A licensing strategy designed to protect featurephone and lower ME revenues that were increasingly under attack by real, non-Java smartphones.

They did however manage to sell the business to Oracle before all the value evaporated. So not completely blind, just blind to the actions needed.

I'd say people never buy a phone because it's built on Java. If they thought about it at all I suspect they'd run straight for a slicker, faster proprietary OS and maybe check if it could also run the Java apps they weren't actually going to bother with ;)

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Anonymous Coward

Too expensive to buy?

So now the price is crashing, should we await an announcement?

Or wait a bit longer and pick up a side dish of Nokia, just to stop MS having them!

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Oracle claiming 2 opposing things

What's interesting about the Oracle phone plans, according to Larry's answers, is their use to tell the jury that the problem is Android *not* using the same Java everyone else uses. That trying to muscle in on Android isn't about cashing in on Androids success but about bringing Android back into the Java fold.

Which is interesting in a case that claims Android uses Java without a license. Yes, Oracle really are claiming 2 opposite things in this case, that Android is too much like Java and that harms everyone but also that Android isn't enough like Java and that hurts everyone!

Such a pity Larry was caught contradicting his own deposition testimony several times on the stand, let's hope that doesn't stop the jury taking at least some of his statements seriously.

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