October 20, 2014

34 Weeks of OHA: #1

Open Handset Alliance Member Profiles (Week #1 – Aplix)
For 34 weeks, each Tuesday, Jordan from fandroid.net will be joining us to offer a profile of each of the 34 members of the Open Handset Alliance.

Company Name: Aplix Corporation

How the OHA site classifies them: Commercialization Company

What the OHA site says about them: Aplix Corporation enables mobile handset manufacturers to have a faster, lower development cost and lower risk route to deploy wireless Java solutions.

What they do: Aplix develops embedded software for mobile phones and PCs. They are a world leader in deploying Java technology on mobile handsets. They are probably best known for Jblend, which the Aplix site describes as “…an embedded software product that enables Java technology on resource constrained devices such as mobile phones.” Jblend has been shipped on almost 360 million handsets. Most of Jblend’s deployment has been in Asian markets; it is deployed on devices by Samsung, Panasonic, Hitachi, Motorola, Sanyo, Sharp, and Toshiba.

They also offer Mobile PictDirect, middleware for printing photos directly from a mobile handset which complies with industry standard PictBridge.

Aplix has been in a strategic alliance with (and is an investor in) MontaVista Software for a little over a year now, with the goal of better integrating MontaVista’s Mobilinux OS with Aplix’s middleware. The company is a member of LiMo.

What they bring to OHA and Android:
Mobile mojo, I guess.
Honestly, It’s a little difficult to see Aplix’s role here, basically because I can’t see what they offer that Google needs. Jblend is nice and all, but Android basically cherry-picks the Java syntax for Android while discarding Java ME. Aplix is a true-to-the-cause Java lover, and Google has gone off the holy path.

Forgive my cynicism, but the PictDirect thing is silly.

The MontaVista connection may have been a factor; Aplix has genuine experience mating Java with Linux on mobile devices. But, again, I have to wonder how much that experience means when the traditional Java runtime has been discarded. MontaVista is not to be seen in the OHA roster… yet. When asked if he would join, MontaVista’s CEO Thomas Kelly replied “Absolutely. We consider the OHA to be very compatible to everything we’re doing.” I’m guessing, however, that Google hasn’t yet sent out the invitation.

It may have been Aplix’s general mobilespace facility may have been attractive to OHA’s overlords. They have the Java experience, the Linux experience, and the mobile software business experience; they’d be nice to have at the table in a consultant capacity.

Aplix Corporations
Open Handset Alliance Press release

Thanks again to Jordan from Fandroid.net for providing this week’s feature!