No More Openwave SDKs?

Openwave 6.2.2 SDK

I was trying to help a mobile web developer track down a problem that was keeping his pages from displaying properly on phones with Openwave browsers, which are still widely used on feature phones from U.S. operators.  I was going to suggest that he grab the Client SDK, which is really just a browser simulator, off the Openwave developer site. When I went there, I couldn’t find it, just an message that Openwave had sold their browser business to Purple Labs and that the SDKs were no longer supported.

I knew about the sale which closed in June, 2008. Then in Feburary, 2009, Esmertec acquired Purple Labs and changed it’s name to Myriad Group AG.  I went to the Myriad Homepage but it was marketing oriented with nary a mention of developers let alone any tools or documentation.

It’s all a bit of a shame.  Openwave was a mobile web pioneer and for a long time was the market leader with the best mobile browsers.  The company also really supported mobile web development with an excellent developer portal packed with documentation, tools, forums and articles.  But Openwave missed the switch to full-web browsers started by Opera and Netfront and then legitimized in the pubic mind by Apple and suddenly the Openwave browser looked very dated.  The company was probably wise to sell the browser business while it still had value.  As that chapter of Openwave’s history ends it looks like the comapny has pulled everything off  the  developer site except the formal documentation.  The  forums and tools are all gone.

Why should developers still care about Openwave? After all, the last Openwave browser, V7  was released in 2004 and the most widely used, 6.2 dates back to 2003.  As old as the Openwave browsers are they still drive a lot of mobile web traffic.  They still  ship in remarkably high numbers, especially in the US.  Motorola appears to have given up on their own embedded feature phone browser with recent Motorola phones like the Evolve “Green” phone for T-Mobile USA and  the relatively high end, touchscreen Krave ZN4 for Verizon both coming with Openwave 6.2.  Verizon also specs 6.2 on the majority of their non-touchscreen phones and every single non-smartphone on Sprint’s iDen network comes with Openwave 7.  20% of traffic on comes from devices with Openwave, second only to Nokia branded browsers and well ahead of Mobile Safari, Blackberry, Netfront and Telca.

It’s not particularly easy to ensure that a mobile site works with the Openwave browsers either.  They can’t handle pages having much over 30 KB of text and images, botch up background colors and CSS positioning rather badly and seem to have some un-documented limit on the number of of <a> elements on a page.  If you want your site to work with all mobile browsers, and you should, you need to test with Openwave. You really should test with real devices but the SDKs are useful to0,  particularly when testing iterations to work around a particular issue. In my experience the Openwave SDKs are pretty faithful the actual browsers on handsets.  They aren’t perfect, sometimes things that work in the SDK don’t on real devices but I’ve never seen a case where the opposite was true.

I found the install files for the Openwave 7.0 and 6.2.2 SDKs on my hard drive and I’ve uploaded them to for anyone who needs them.



And if your still maintain WML code here’s the wml-only 4.1.1 SDK


Emulator image courtesy Openwave Systems Inc. Openwave and the Openwave logo are registered trademarks and/or trademarks of Openwave Systems Inc. in various jurisdictions. All rights reserved.

46 thoughts on “No More Openwave SDKs?

  1. Hello Dennis,

    I would like to setup an OMA Download Server for the test of a OMA Download Agent client. Searching on Google, I frequently find results dealing with OpenWave simulator. Is this software can be used as an OMA Download Server?


  2. Thank you. I’m a rank beginner and only needed enough help to create an app for my daughter that did no more than tell her to call her Mother.

  3. thanks man you are a life saver i have been looking for this for weeks. wouldn’t mind sending goodies fresh from Africa :D

  4. Gee, thanks a lot, i’ll never delete my installer files again. i had this simulator which i used for my final year project in between 2007 and 2008, using WML and ASP, and now just last night i thought of hosting the application,just for me to navigate to their site and download, i was totally disappointed, everything was gone. Anyway thanks a lot man. I really wan’t to get back into mobile web development.

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  6. I have downloaded the openwave v70.The problem now,i do not know where to start.I want to start writing a simple program.

    Do I need to install Apache?And write all the program in notepad?

  7. hello sir,
    i am a very new developer of mobile web sites and i got tutorials of openwave. but when i visited the site it was all gone. nothing is provided there. but i visited this page and found everything needed for my kick start, I am very thankful to you. i want to grow up from basic technology. u helped me alot. a very sincere thanks to you

  8. Thanks. I am facing a bug in my application related to the sam eissue. Happy that yu had it with you. thanks..

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  10. I to surprise the openwave as closed the SDK/simulator, Any how thanks a lot and taken the pain to upload here. At last i found here. This will help for developers. :-)

  11. thank you..but which one of these link i dont know. originally i want to search for openwave sdk 5.0 simulator. so which one of ur link should i use?

    • I don’t have the 5.0 simulator. If you are testing wml content use the 4.1.1 one, if you’re testing xhtml-mp or html content use the 6.2.2 one. AFAIK, few, if any phones were ever shipped with the 5.0 browser.

  12. That’s really kind of you for the upload. Thx a lot!
    i need it to complete my essay. in a word, i love u so much.

  13. THANK YOU for this wonderful upload. I searched for a long time for this. This is very helpful and the article you wrote was very informative.

  14. Thanks a lot for this, have to implement a multiplatform web app using XHTML MP and WML so the final link really helps!

  15. Thanks so much for making these available. Needed to do some testing on a new app and this makes it much easier. Much appreciated!

  16. Thanks a lot for the files, I was looking for them to see if my not being able to access Facebook was my mobile company’s fault, or OpenWave.

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  18. Regarding the relevance of Openwave software, let me mention that KDDI from Japan continues to release all its terminals with version 6.2.2 of the browser.

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