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Why Java ME (J2ME)?

Java is by far the most widely-deployed platform in the history of IT, with an estimated 2.5 BILLION devices from tiny network-aware small programmable objects (SPOT), to smart cards and SIM cards, to cellphones and PDAs, and thence to desktops and servers all running Java. In addition to its presence in servers and on the desktop, Java runs most of the SIM cards on today's cellular phones, powers about half of all smart cards on the planet (and runs the health card services of several nations and the security cards of the US army), and provides business and consumer applications to more than a billion cellular devices around the world.


  • Alone among all the current technology, and because of its modular approach to targeting small devices, Java ME (J2ME) has positioned itself as the best solution for an extremely wide range of small devices. With some incremental learning, a single java developer can quickly master coding conventions from smart cards all the way to high powered devices like settop boxes and high end PDAs.

  • The huge and fast growing base of 4.5 million java developers worldwide provides a ready resource for creating Java ME (J2ME) apps.

  • Java ME (J2ME) promises developers and companies portability across the widest range of devices imaginable. Profiles target specific devices, but portability is maintained to some extent across configurations.

Java on handsets,pagers
Motorola Razr.
Motorola Razr

  • Java ME (J2ME) on cellphones is a PROVEN commercial success. There are more than a BILLION Java-enabled phones in operation, and 70 percent to 80 percent of the GSM phones are also equipped with Java (February 2006)

  • Industry forecasts predict that revenue from mobile games will grow from $2.6 billion in 2006 to $11.2 billion by 2010, accounting for 23.8% of mobile entertainment global content revenues. The vast majority of mobile games are based on Java ME (March 22, 2006)

  • NTT DoCoMo's Takeshi Natsuno, managing director of iMode planning development, credited 60 percent of the company's $10 billion in revenue from DoCoMo's iMode service to Java-based services (May, 2005).

  • More than 13 million consumers download java apps using NTTDoCoMo's 2.5G i-appli service, with 60% of the apps being games (Fall 2002).

  • European mmO2 saw the number of Java games purchased to date on its site increase from 278,000 to more than half a million since its last reported figures at the end of March 2003. (July 2, 2003)

JavaCard (Java Smart Card)
AMEX Blue.

  • With over 1.25 billion cards deployed worldwide, Java ME (Java Card) technology is the leading open, multi-application platform for smart cards (Nov 2005).

  • Government agencies are currently issuing Java Card technology-based smart cards as their new identification cards to replace existing "paper" identification cards. Most recently the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) named Java Card technology as the platform of choice for the Transportation Workers(TW) card, the first national identity card for transportation workers. The Department of Defense is issuing a Common Access Card to 4.3 million active duty U.S. military personnel and eligible contractors. The Government of Taiwan will deploy a Java Card technology-based smart card as their new health insurance identification card to all 24 million residents.
  • American Express and Visa have adopted Java Card technology as the platform of choice for the development of their smart card applications. The very popular AMEX Blue card (current circulation: more than 4 million in the USA) is a java smart card. After only 18 months, Blue accounted for 10 percent of all U.S. Amex cards, and should hit about 10 million cards in 2002. There are also about 7 million VISA smart cards in the country.

  • Telecommunications carriers such as China Mobile, France Telecom, Hong Kong Telecom, Orange, Swisscom, Telecom Italia Mobile and Telefonica have deployed millions of Java Card technology-based Subscriber Identity Modules (SIM)cards worldwide. Java Card technology-enabled SIM cards allow operators to provide secure, innovative services on mobile devices. In 2001, Java SIM cards grew 92% and made up about 25% of all SIM cards (96 million java SIM cards). The number of java SIM cards is expected to grow to 162 million (or 36% of total) in 2002.

Java on PDA/Smartphones
Sony Ericsson P990.
Sony Ericsson P990

  • The fastest growing smart device in the market, the RIM Blackberry, is completely based on apps using Java ME (March/2006).

  • Palm and IBM recently announced in July 2003 that ALL Palm Tungsten devices will ship with an integrated Java ME (J2ME) runtime by Fall 2003.

    This is a major advance for Java ME (J2ME), as the Palm OS represents the strongly dominant handheld OS. More than 97% of all handheld software sold in 2001 was for the Palm OS, and Palm OS is gaining dominance in the enterprise as well , with Palm OS licensees accounting for more than half of all handhelds sold to enterprises worldwide, compared to 32 percent for Pocket PC licensees. In addition, the Palm OS made up around 85% of handheld retail sales in the US in March 2002. Finally, more than 85 percent of enterprises chose Palm OS as their platform for mobile solution development, according to a 2002 report by Maritz Research. And, in a 2002 study by the Gantry Group, Palm Powered handhelds had a 41 percent lower total cost of ownership than those that use the Microsoft Pocket PC platform.

  • Java support is becoming standard in many of the current PDAs, including Sharp's new Zaurus PDA.

  • All-Java PDAs are coming out, including the really good looking Kyocera Pocket Cosmo PDA, and the aJile aJ-100WRP.

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