Monday, August 08, 2005

AOL's Mobile Moves

USA Today writes about the recent moves by AOL to become a player in the mobile space. The latest is the formation of a new unit, the AOL Wireless Group, and the closing of its acquisition of Wildseed, which sells phone-personalization software to manufacturers, service providers and content companies. They also acquired Xdrive, "which enables consumers to store digital data on remote servers via the Internet."

AOL is hoping the new group and recent acquistiions will allow it get into the mobile game that has so far passed them by.

Jupiter Research's Julie Ask said, "One of the biggest challenges with wireless is the user interface. Wildseed gives AOL more control over the total experience."

But as the article notes, AOL still needs to "convince manufacturers or service providers to blend the software into cell phones." Ask commented, "Wireless carriers are more likely to answer the phone if AOL calls them than if Wildseed calls."

AOL was late to broadband, but has been making strides recently. Will it be enough to make them a player?