Marc Dillon, CEO of Jolla, said that the mobile industry is in “what may be the last step in the golden age of ecosystems – what is happening now is that everybody is getting squeezed”.
Speaking in a keynote at Mobile World Congress on Thursday, Dillon noted: “Operators have a fear of becoming a bit pipe. And maybe that’s OK for some operators, but we do know that when you start to commoditise, margins get tighter and it just becomes about ‘where can I get the biggest, cheapest plan’.”
He continued: “OEMs are getting squeezed. When I got off the airplane here in Barcelona, the first thing I saw was a billboard from a very large company which said ‘we have reinvented mobile’. And it has exactly the same Android as everyone else.”
The executive countered that, looking forward, openness will be key to tackling these issues, due to the fact that it can enable a greater degree of innovation.
“Openness is the new ecosystem, and ecosystem independence is the thing that really is going to drive innovation. A lot of people are scared of open. But openness is not something to be afraid of. There are lots of business models that are available. But openness is also about being open to innovate”, Dillon said.
With the company readying a hardware and software proposition more akin to Apple and BlackBerry than for the Android and Windows Phone vendors, where a key component is created by a third party, the Jolla CEO also highlighted the benefits that this approach can bring.
He noted: “When you control the whole thing, the software and the hardware, when you are able to contribute an operating system and hardware together, then you can create your own user experience and be very different. You can create your own industrial design, and package it any way you want.”
“And most importantly, you can create the services that actually build business and build new innovation,” he said.