07/13/2009, 01:00 PM
I've been keeping an eye on this company Funambol because I'm hoping they'll develop a SyncML-based mobile sync client for webOS. Ultimately I'm hoping they'll enable a native Synergy PIM hookup for AOL Sync. (Funambol currently drives the AOL Sync server side.) Funambol hasn't announced anything but there are plenty of hints and clues that they're working on this.
While cyberstalking them I found a white paper they published (free registration required) called "Evaluating Mobile Cloud Sync Solutions: From Apple MobileMe to Vodafone Zyb" in which they compare ten different cloud sync solutions including Palm Synergy. Their findings are interesting, and there are a few juicy rumor-inducing tidbits inside.
First the findings. They used a variety of criteria to assign scores to the various services where 10 was the lowest possible score and 40 was the best. Here are the final scores:
- Funambol - 38
- Nokia Ovi - 28
- Apple MobileMe - 27
- Palm Synergy - 27
- MS My Phone - 26
- Vodafone Zyb - 26
- Google Sync - 23
- BlackBerry IS - 21
- Yahoo! Mobile - 21
- AT&T - 19
- T-Mobile - 19
- Verizon - 19
The takeaway is that Apple and Palm tied for third place, so fanbois be cool . The big differentiators are that Apple scored points for its web portal (rich AJAX) and number of languages supported; Palm scored points for its price (free!), and native social network support (Facebook).
Now for the juicy rumor-inducing tidbits, namely clues that Funambol is developing a solution for webOS. Funambol licenses their software to corporate customers who re-brand it, i.e. AOL Sync. The report includes this tantalizing disclaimer:
(Emphasis mine.) Could that NDA possibly be with...oh I don't know...Palm? Of course it could be any of the other companies, but I think it's Palm.
As a disclaimer, Funambol provides mobile cloud sync solutions to companies in the mobile industry. ... We did not include our customers' solutions in the study, to avoid a conflict of interest, with one exception
. Due to a non-disclosure agreement
with one of the solution providers in the study, we cannot identify that solution
Here's the next tidbit:
So if Funambol had a Pre back in May to "evaluate," that suggests they're early access developers. Rock on!
The evaluation was performed by a team of Funambol researchers over a period of several weeks in May and June, 2009
. ... Several devices were used in the research, including an iPhone, BlackBerry Pearl, Nokia E71, Palm Pre
, Windows Mobile and phones from Motorola, Samsung, Sony Ericsson and LG.
One last wild and baseless speculation. As I said Funambol provides server solutions that providers can re-brand. Wouldn't it be sweet if they provided such a solution to Palm. So instead of being a simple blind backup, the Palm Synergy profile would suddenly be a first-class cloud-based PIM with a rich AJAX web portal and the ability to sync to a wide variety of devices and applications including of course webOS Synergy. After all, Funambol scored in first place in their own evaluation!