OK Labs, ST-Ericsson, and the Mobile/Wireless Ecosystem
Two weeks ago, OK Labs and ST-Ericsson announced the selection of OK Labs as ST-Ericsson's mobile virtualization partner. To earn this coveted position, OK Labs prevailed in a rigorous evaluation and selection process, winning on the basis of our technology and leadership position in the dynamic and rapidly evolving global mobile marketplace. As a result of the partnership between OK Labs and ST-Ericsson, the OKL4 Microvisor platform will support ST-Ericsson multimedia chipsets (like the U8500 and beyond) - silicon targeted to power hundreds of millions of smartphones and featurephones from Nokia, LG and other Tier I handset manufacturers.
On the surface, this announcement appears to tout "just another reference design". Every week the trade press reports on Software Company X supporting Chipset Y. And OK Labs is indeed very proud to be able to support ST-Ericsson multimedia silicon platforms with OKL4, our advanced mobile virtualization solution. But the implications of the OK Labs / ST-Ericsson partnership go well beyond a simple ISV-semiconductor supplier relationship. In fact, the announcement is indicative of ongoing structural changes in the mobile/wireless ecosystem - changes that are reshaping how mobile devices are designed, manufactured, provisioned and ultimately provided to end-users.
The Mobile/Wireless Handset Supply Chain
Since its inception almost two decades ago, the mobile/wireless ecosystem has been characterized by a complex mix of players engaging in transactions that span the life-cycles of wireless handsets and the software and services deployed on them.