This has been a very interesting thread to track....
Jason - no bias, just pure pragmatism; love it. Can't disagree w/ anything you have said...
Alex writes about the platforms that are most "useful" to as many people as possible in the world... these being J2ME, Web and S60.
But useful is *very* relative. For talking on the phone? For writing applications? For deploying and making money from?
I used to think as Alex... yes, it all sounds reasonable -- target the platforms that should reach the largest number of subscriber. That is until you take into consideration "Show me the money", as Ajit says.
Subscribers will download rich, useful applications - others, such as Web and SMS, well, they like those for free! Don't you agree? Meaning the business model is not around the subscriber but against "the other side of the subscriber" such as busineses, etc.
From the "show me the money" perspective "rich development platforms and ecosystems" have proven, finally, successful. Remember the debates between Ajit and myself on Web vs. local apps, including at J1 Keynote a couple of years ago? But it took Apple to show "us" the way.
App Stores have proven central for developers (i.e. "show me the money"), and for subscribers (to easily find and download apps).
And just want to reiterate, that when I say "rich development platforms and ecosystems", ecosystems go beyond app repositories, and it is about all the details that make it work, which includes integrated billing/payment, social and not, feedback system, and all the goodies a good designed app store is all about.
A word on Android: just give it time. It has the potential to be everywhere - phones, internet appliances, cars, etc. around the Globe, and thus many different types of developers (mobile to embedded). And it very well might allow developers to enter "emerging" markets easier. Judging Android after 6 months or so means nothing in the grand scheme of things.
A word on BlackBerry. They are getting it, but imposing a minimum app price of $2.99 -- because "they value the efforts of developers" is bogus and is an attempt to sound developer-friendly. Let the market decide pricing!
A word on Nokia: they are trying, but keep it simple!
A word on J2ME: I still believe it has potential to be the platform of choice for mid-level phones. Specially with the latest API-stacks that will be coming later this year. And today,if you have the right market and channels, go for it.
A word on Web: best channel for apps that easily bring "generic" content out to people.
A word on short messaging (regardless of SMS or Twits): best channel for notification-like distribution. Second to none.
Best type of app? Hybrid app!