Qualcomm Offers Carriers a Widget Plaza

I’m not sure where Qualcomm is going with its Plaza effort, a platform-agnostic (it’ll run on Java and Brew) widget development and delivery framework for carriers. I see why the wireless chip maker wants to appease carriers with their own set of mobile phone widgets, as they could generate higher data usage and increase ARPU, but I don’t know why a user would use them when they can download thousands of other widgets from other sites and bypass their carrier entirely.

Mobile widgets are tiny apps residing on mobile phones that directly connect users to the web without having to go through a browser. It’s fast, and for users without a smart phone (but with a data plan and Java), it’s the only way to access the web. Handset maker Nokia is affiliated with WidSets, which offers more than 5,000 of the things, including PrivateChat, which allows you to IM without paying text messaging fees. Others including Zumobi, GetMobio and Plusmo also offer widgets for mobiles.

Plaza is in the commercialization stage right now, so things may change, but so far it seems similar to WidSets, just with a carrier point of view.