Press Releases 2007

Development of an API Oriented Common Platform for SOFTBANK MOBILE Handsets
-Shorter development period and less cost for highly-spec, multifunctional handsets supporting OS and chipsets of different manufacturers-

May 22, 2007

SOFTBANK MOBILE Corp. (Head office: Minato-ku, Tokyo; Representative: Masayoshi Son, hereinafter "SBM") has decided to introduce an API (Application Program Interface) oriented common platform for SOFTBANK MOBILE handsets, "Portable Open Platform Initiative" (hereinafter "POP-i") and started its development.

"POP-i" absorbs differences of various main operating systems (OS) and chipsets for handsets adopted by handset manufacturers to minimize cost on the manufacturers and is able to facilitate commonization of applications and middleware to shorten the development period as well as to reduce development cost. Furthermore, "POP-i"-based handset development enables flexible support to existing handset development environments while it ensures sustainable use of software assets for adoption of ever-evolving technology and hardware.

SBM will continue to study incorporating "OpenKODE®"* in "POP-i" that defines APIs for handsets. "OpenKODE®" is an open, royalty-free industry standard technology that is expected to drive active development of application/middleware. Because of its comprehensive scope of multi-media sources, including videos, 2D/3D graphics and sound, "OpenKODE" will be able to offer totally new rich content appropriate to the era of mobile multimedia.

Mr. Neil Trevett, President of the Khronos™ Group that formulates specifications of "OpenKODE®" commented as follows;
"The Khronos™ Group is delighted that SOFTBANK MOBILE has selected the "OpenKODE®" standard to provide a state-of-the-art graphics and media capability for the "POP-i" platform. "OpenKODE®" will encourage and protect the investment of software developers in the "POP-i" platform by ensuring application portability across multiple handsets now and into the future. Native "OpenKODE®" applications on "POP-i" handsets will unlock the full potential of rich media silicon to provide truly compelling end-user experiences."

The handset market today witnesses continuous advancement of technical evolution and high-spec/multi-functional handsets that impose the big challenge of a significant increase of workloads for software development and mounting developed software to handsets. In addition, diversified customer demands must be met by constant release of uniquely characterized handsets and new competitive services with fast time to market, and the importance to continue doing so is increasing in order to acquire new customers and to retain existing customers. Mobile operators need to be able to absorb technical differences from different platforms used by handset manufacturers in order to offer services of stable quality. "POP-i" is a solution to these imminent issues.

SBM has constantly provided innovative services in the Japanese mobile market. SBM believes that "POP-i", is a common software platform which will help us establish a robust development framework to meet diversified customer needs, by releasing high-spec and competitive services in fast cycles.

SBM will develop this "POP-i" and SOFTBANK common applications that run on "POP-i" jointly with Aplix Corporation (Head office: Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo; President & Representative Director:: Masaaki Sekino) and ACCESS CO., LTD.. (Head office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; President and CEO: Toru Arakawa)

Five major handset manufacturers, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Sharp Corporation, TOSHIBA CORPORATION, NEC Corporation, and Panasonic Mobile Communications Co., Ltd. (in the order of the Japanese syllabary, as of May 22, 2007) support the significance of "POP-i" development efforts and SBM is delighted to have received the following comments.

Mr. Yoshisuke Hasegawa, Corporate Executive Director, Group General Manager, Communication Systems Group, Sharp Corporation;
"POP-i" will allow us to effectively utilize our software assets and enable us to deliver new devices and services with faster time to market. We will use "POP-i" to quickly develop mobile handsets supporting new technologies and continue offering new convenience and fun to users.
Mr. Chikahiro Yokota, Corporate Senior Vice President, Toshiba Corporation, and President and CEO, Mobile Communications Company;
We hope "POP-i" will enable us to flexibly support our current development environment and also ensure sustainable use of software assets to cope with ever-evolving technology and hardware. We plan to use "POP-i" to be able to quickly deliver handsets supporting advanced technology.
Mr. Toshihisa Hirose, Executive General Manager, Mobile Terminals Products Development Operations Unit, NEC Corporation;
We think that the concept of POP-i, which commonizes the application execution environment while letting mobile handset manufacturers capitalize on their software assets and know-how, is one of the effective methods for developing mobile handsets.
Mr. Osamu Waki, President, Panasonic Mobile Communications Co., Ltd.;
The concept of "POP-i" is desirable also for handset manufacturers as it harmonizes execution environments for applications, while using software assets and know-how in the hands of handset manufacturers. It will help handset manufacturers to focus on differentiation/individualization and to offer more attractive handsets.
  • * Royalty-free cross platform API to offer comprehensive media specifications for rich media and graphics applications through combining multiple native APIs whose formulation of specifications is promoted by the Khronos™ Group, an NPO operated with membership fee from its member companies.

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  • *OpenKODE® is a trademark of the Khronos Group.
  • *POP-I is a trademark of SOFTBANK MOBILE Corp.
  • *SOFTBANK, the SOFTBANK name and logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of SOFTBANK CORP. in Japan and other countries.
  • The information is true and accurate at the time of publication.
    Price, specification, contact and other information of products and service may be subjected to change. The information contains certain forward-looking statements that are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements.