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Funambol, a provider of open source mobile cloud sync and push email for billions of phones, today announced it has acquired Zapatec, Inc., a leader of AJAX web 2.0 frameworks. The acquisition enables Funambol to uniquely address the industry pervasive device fragmentation challenge that plagues developers and requires building native apps for too many platforms. The combination of Funambol's open source mobile sync and push server, with Zapatec's AJAX web 2.0 technology, will foster a new generation of open, rich mobile browser native apps for billions of smart- and feature phones. This provides the best of both worlds -- rich mobile web native apps that 'sync and push' and that work on all devices.

"Future mobile apps will resemble PC AJAX apps, they will be web-based yet will sync data with mobile devices and have push notifications," said Fabrizio Capobianco, Funambol CEO. "We are very pleased to acquire Zapatec, the leading provider of AJAX web 2.0 frameworks. Together, our technology allows us to create the next generation of open, rich mobile browser native apps that sync and push billions of devices."

There are four billion mobile phones today, growing to five billion over the next few years. These phones represent a major device fragmentation problem for the industry, as they are splintered across numerous platforms and manufacturers, including iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Symbian, BREW, Java ME, mobile Linux and several proprietary offerings. Further, entire new classes of wireless devices are emerging, such as e-book readers, wireless digital cameras and printers, netbooks and appliances, with their own operating environments. This makes it extremely challenging for developers to build rich mobile apps that work across a wide range of devices.

Many industry experts believe that the next generation of mobile apps will be web-based, similar to AJAX web 2.0 apps for PC browsers that provide desktop-like capabilities and ease-of-use. Funambol recognizes that just providing rich mobile browser apps will be insufficient. Apps must also sync data and content locally with mobile devices and have push capabilities similar to push email. They must also be integrated into the core apps on devices such as their address book, calendar and messaging clients.

The integration of Funambol and Zapatec technology provides all of the required resources to build the next generation of open, rich mobile browser native apps. It combines Funambol's open source mobile data sync and push server platform, with Zapatec's AJAX web 2.0 framework. This will enable Funambol, its customers and open source community to create a new generation of open, rich mobile native apps that 'sync & push' billions of devices to address the device fragmentation problem. As part of the acquisition, Dror Matalon, Zapatec CEO, is joining Funambol's leadership team as Vice President, Emerging Technology.

"Open source is on fire in mobile, and Funambol is at the forefront," said Dror Matalon. "Together, our technology can make it easy for people to build rich mobile native apps that support all major platforms."

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