Major players in the mobile industry are grouping together to develop new standards for mobile Java.
New standards are being designed to simplify the development environment and make it easier for phones to interoperate.
Current iterations of mobile Java have at least five APIs and a host of other software modules. The plan is to reduce these to two: JSR 248 for low-end phones, and JSR 249 for mid-level and high-end phones.
All the major handset manufacturers are helping with the specification, as are network operators and software houses including Sun Microsystems.
"Nokia and Vodafone are the specification leaders at the moment," said Sami Inkinen, Nokia's vice president for strategic architectures.
"Other companies involved are also helping. We have most of the major players but not so many that we can't get decisions made by committee members."
The new specifications are still being formulated, but the JSR 248 stack should be finished by the first half of 2006. No date has yet been given for the completion of JSR 249.
Analyst firm Ovum estimated in September that there are nearly 500 million phones in use that come equipped with mobile Java, and shipments are increasing steadily. Only the lowest-end phones do not have mobile Java included as standard.
Nokia has sold 120 million mobile Java-ready handsets, and estimates that this year mobile Java developers will earn €340m from mobile Java applications.
Existing applications should be backwards-compatible with the new standard provided they use the standard APIs currently available.
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