How International Data will Decide Whether Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon or Facebook Will Win the Mobile Platform War

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323300404578207630324300210.html

I read a great article this morning regarding the path for mobile development and the need for applications and data. Normally I tend to look at these topics from the view of global cross border commerce concerns. With this particular article, I had to look at things one step removed and focus on the needs of mobile platforms to collect, aggregate and disseminate data using tools such as Siri

It was interesting to see companies like FourSquare and the YellowPages were mentioned in the same article but both are providers of robust consumer/business data. Even more interesting is the fact that there was little mention of international data providers and the need to provide that information to platform users. The only provider of real international data mentioned was TomTom and its TeleAtlas division.

So a few observations:

While providing more U.S. data for systems like Siri and other intelligence tools makes sense, the bigger opportunity is in international markets

Apple should absolutely buy TomTom and use that division to bulk up its international data capture process

Microsoft and Research In Motion need to make a move to leverage their market capabilities in global markets using the already acquired Navteq assets

Finally, the writer of the article absolutely gets it right when he states “If the mobile platforms of Apple, Google, Microsoft and Facebook are to shine, they will feel more and more pressure to differentiate themselves with data”.