AlcaLu gets x-platform firm OpenPlug

Dylan Bushell-Embling
02 Sep 2010

Alcatel Lucent has bought cross-platform mobile software firm OpenPlug - its second addition to its app development capabilities in three months.

OpenPlug allows developers to write an application once and then convert it into native software for Apple's iOS, Android, Symbian, Windows Mobile or Linux.

AlcaLu said it will market OpenPlug's toolsets to service providers, enterprises and developers.

Service providers in particular will be able to benefit by building a branded app once and porting it to support most if not all of the phones they offer.

“As service providers typically offer multiple mobile devices to their subscriber base, the OpenPlug software can help them get to market five times faster by allowing them to easily port an application to all of their devices,” said Laura Merling, vice president of Alcatel-Lucent’s global developer strategy.

She said the software can also support apps development for IPTV set top boxes, game consoles, and even the LTE Connected Car program.

The OpenPlug toolset will be incorporated into the vendor's developer platform and Open API Service.

Alcatel-Lucent in June purchased ProgrammableWeb, an industry source for APIs, how-to guides, libraries and tools.

Redmonk analyst Michael Coote said that mobile development platforms and tools are becoming heavily fragmented.

As a result, developers often have to choose between “putting all your eggs in one, often tightly controlled basket, like Apple's,” or designing a simple mobile-web app that can't benefit from native access.

“A tool that can target all platforms is hugely needed in this space, and OpenPlug should work well with the total mobile app development portfolio Alcatel-Lucent is putting together,” he said.

Open Plug, based in the French tech hub Sophia Antipolis, numbers Sony Ericsson, Intel, Arima and Foxconn among its customers.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.


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