I have been in the mobile biz for quite a few years now (they are going to be 6 years this fall!) and from the beginning finding information about devices has been a problem.
In the early days of WAP I could understand this, most people didn’t even know what they would have neeeded to know to develop a WAP site. Also, the first devices supporting WAP (in Europe, I’m not talking about HDML in USA) were not yet perfect and firmware releases fixed many little glitches. Having a hard time finding information about 2-3 devices was ok. It would have been better to have it, but still, it was ok, you’d just buy the device and test (and maybe upgrade the firmware when a major release would come).
Now we have tens of manufacturers from all around the world, tens of operators that often require modifications to the default features of a device.
There are thousands of developers around the world working for hundreds of small-medium-large companies and we still CAN NOT find information about certain devices.
Nokia, as we all know, offers the best documentation (for GSM devices).
DoCoMo is not even an issue, all devices are created equal (developer heaven: how do I get in?).
Motorola and SonyEricsson do something and deliver SOME information about their devices (did you ever read a spec doc from Motorola? it’s a little too short, IMHO, but at least I can get the screen size, colors, WAP version and a little more).
Siemens delivers periodically a “device matrix” with a lot of good information of 20-30 devices.
What is Samsung doing? Why is their site MSIE only? Why do they only provide information about j2me? Why is their forum so ugly? Didn’t they ever hear of phpBB or any other FREE forum software?
At least Samsung is doing something!
Alcatel hasn’t updated their developers’s site in a year or so.
Sagem doesn’t have a developers’ site (if you know the address let me know!).
LG doesn’t have a developers’ site.
Sanyo doesn’t have a developers’ site.
Panasonic doesn’t have a developers’ site.
Sendo doesn’t have a developers’ site.
Fortunately some operators thought that it was worth spending a little time testing the devices they were going to sell with their brand and luckily decided to share that VALUEABLE info with their partners and developers. Unfortunately many don’t update their sites!
I registered on t-mobile’s US developers’ site. Nice site, but did the employee leave the company? The last update is dated 2002!!
Cingular (+ AT&T, now) have a good site! +1 to cingular
TIM doesn’t have a developers’ site.
Telefonica has a developers’ site, but is it fair to make me pay to access it? Yes, it’s true that I make money selling contents to their customers, but it’s also true that Telefonica (just like all the other operators around the world) get a HIGH percentage of that money I ask to my customers. Isn’t that money enough? (ermm.. is money EVER enough??)
I am a little disappointed about the service they offer.
In my opinion it’s in THEIR interest (both manufacturers and operators) to share the device information with content and service providers. In my opinion Nokia is the only one who understood the value of this. EVERY new Nokia device that comes on the market is well documented and OF COURSE it will be supported by developers and users/customers will go buy another Nokia because they get plenty of contents well formatted and well designed. Do you know why? Because Nokia gave the tools to the developers!
PLEASE, prove me wrong, give me other good developers’ site! Let me know that LG or Panasonic, or someone else is offering a GOOD developers’ site.
DISCLAIMER: I did not name all the companies and ALL the developers site that I found. +1 to Openwave for their style guides and few device info. I’m sure they could do better, but still, they provide really good information about their browser, the device is not exactly their biz. Sprint developers’ site is good too. Nextel is ok, but a little outdated.
NOTICE: we are working on an updated, new, super-cool wireless FAQ, it would be cool to list all the good developers’ sites there, so let me know of developers’ sites! (in English, please)