First operator managed smartphone with WAC Widgets released

Smart Communications (SMART), the Philippine wireless services provider, and Red Bend Software, provider of mobile software management (MSM), have unveiled the Netphone, the world’s first smartphone featuring widgets from the Wholesale Application Community (WAC).

Using Red Bend’s standards-based vRapid Mobile Software Management solution, SMART becomes the first operator to manage its suite of SMART-branded embedded software and applications, including WAC-compliant widgets, individually and independently from the OEM’s firmware, using the OMA-DM SCOMO standard, and to push new revenue-generating mobile services that use WAC widgets to Netphone subscribers over the air, versus waiting for consumers to discover new apps on the WAC-based SMART Shop or Android Market. Also, it is offering the same software-managed user experience across different device price points and mobile platforms, including Android and Brew MP.

The Netphone comes with a suite of applications that provide users one-touch, one-screen access to the most popular communications and social networking services, as well as relevant customer account services. Powered by the Android 2.2 Froyo operating system, the device is highly customisable by the user. Moreover, the Netphone comes with its own branded software and applications relevant to emerging market customers.

“We chose Red Bend as a strategic partner in our Netphone strategy because of their innovative solution, trusted expertise and unparalleled support in helping to bring our vision to reality,” said Napoleon L. Nazareno, president and CEO of Smart Communications, who serves on the WAC Board of Directors. “With software at the heart of the Netphone experience, it is vital that we have full control over the entire device, ensuring we can rapidly deploy new widgets, applications and services over the air to continually enhance the Netphone’s value and control the software assets that drive our services revenue.”

Commented Yoram Salinger, CEO at Red Bend Software: “It is a tremendous opportunity for Red Bend to utilise the full capabilities of our Mobile Software Management solution in a strategic project such as the Netphone. It demonstrates the value that Red Bend brings to service providers such as SMART, where we can serve as a solutions provider and make MSM a strategic business enabler for their entire ecosystem.”