Nokia announced last week the winners of its annual, â''Mobile Rules!â'' competition, which gives awards to "innovative mobile business plans and cutting-edge applications, services and technologies from developers and entrepreneurs" from around the world.
The idea, as I understand it, is to encourage mainstream and entrepreneurial companies alike to come up with new applications for mobile phones. In Nokia's press release, Tom Libretto, Vice President, Forum Nokia is quoted as saying, â''Open platforms and the millions of smart phone devices available today are helping enable this new wave of entrepreneurs from around the globe to become drivers of the future global mobile marketplace through the innovative technologies, applications and business models they create today.â''
Distilling that marketing statement into something more understandable, what Nokia is saying is that: "Mobile phone customers are becoming smarter and more agile than we are in developing new applications and innovative uses of our phones. In fact, we have lost control of the direction of the market, so let's just sit back, help enable it and see where it takes us. If we provide smart phones with lots of capabilities, nice tools and open architectures for our customers to play with, our customers will create neat things that will likely make them (and others) buy our phones in the future."
The upside for Nokia for running the contest is to not only encourage this innovation, but to get a good look at what more innovative customers are doing with mobile phone technology. If what is created looks profitable, then Nokia is in a perfect position to enter collaborative deals with them.
There are some interesting ideas among the winners. Because of my interest in medical technology, I am a bit partial to the winner of the best business plan, MedApps, and the mobile wireless health monitoring system they are developing.
You can check out who all the winners are here.