Android's unintentional beneficiary: Funambol

Google Android is booming, which is creating an excellent market opportunity for Funambol, the open-source mobile sync leader.

Google Android adoption--both that which is publicly announced and that which is still under wraps--is amazing. Google CEO Eric Schmidt recently declared that Android adoption is set to "explode." This is good news for Google, of course, as well as the wireless carriers and handset manufacturers that support Android.

It's also extremely good news for Funambol, the open-source mobile cloud sync company.

Even as the mobile telcos seek winning alternatives to the controlling grasp of Apple, that same industry is simultaneously enthusiastic and leery about Google: enthusiastic about the operating system, but leery about tying all of their customer data into Google's cloud services.

Enter Funambol, the open-source mobile cloud sync and push e-mail.

Funambol ensures mobile operators maintain control over customer data, rather than sacrificing it to Google. E-mail, social networking features, contact information, etc.: Funambol can sync it all, with the mobile operator and its end-customers retaining ownership.

The fact that Funambol is open source doesn't hurt. Not only does it nicely complement Google's open-source Android strategy, it allows mobile operators, handset manufacturers, software vendors, and others to tailor Funambol's Java software to suit their particular needs.

Small wonder, then, that ten of the top mobile companies use Funambol, a list that includes companies readers of this blog use every day...in just about any developed nation (and others beyond). Such customer traction is translating into greater than 100-percent sales growth every quarter.

Recession? What recession?

In fact, as Funambol CEO Fabrizio Capobianco told me on Wednesday, it is the recession that has accelerated Android adoption and, by extension, Funambol's adoption. Mobile operators don't want to pay hefty royalties for Windows Mobile and need software that sets them apart in a crowded, competitive market.

If this sounds like a perfect storm for open-source Android, that's because it is. But it's also creating an exceptional opportunity for Funambol, and could well establish beachheads for a range of other open-source products that sit within the Android ecosystem.

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About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.

     

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