Avaya awaits SDK to decide on enhanced iPhone support

By , IDG News Service |  Mobile & Wireless

Avaya is demonstrating
the iPhone version of its one-X Mobile client at Cebit, but company officials
have not yet decided whether to use the upcoming SDK from Apple to enhance the
application.

The iPhone version of the mobile application is available in the U.S. and comes
to Europe in the third quarter. One-X Mobile lets users manage voice mail and
get access to company directories and call logs.

The goal is to make the iPhone enterprise ready. But because the iPhone is
a closed platform, the one-X Mobile client runs in the Web browser, completely
separate from the rest of the phone. Avaya offers more advanced clients for
Nokia and BlackBerry phones.

The release of the long-awaited iPhone SDK (software developer kit) this week
could change all that. So far Avaya hasn't decided whether it's going to build
a more full-featured client, using the SDK. A deciding factor will be how open
Apple makes the iPhone.

"We will have to wait and see what's possible. Today we don't know if
we can integrate directly with Visual Mail," said Stefan Döbbe, senior
solution architect at Avaya.

If Avaya can only add two features it probably won't develop a new client.
It's a fine balance between what it can achieve, and how many hours it will
take, according to Döbbe.

In general, developing clients for mobile phones is an uphill battle.

"We have to develop a client for every phone, because the phone vendors
interpret the Java substandards differently. Even phones from the same vendor
work differently," said Döbbe.

He also tells a horror story about a Nokia phone that worked in the U.S., but
not in Europe, because the European carrier didn't support the same software
version.

Despite the challenges, Döbbe still thinks there is hope.

"The vendors are getting closer, which will make it easier for us to develop
applications for mobile phones," he said.

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