Spinning the mobile web
A new study issued by market analysis firm JupiterResearch reiterates a message that always bears repeating: Until the user experience improves, mobile web adoption will remain stuck in neutral. According to the Jupiter report, titled "Mobile Internet: Leave the Browser at Home on the Desktop," 63 percent of mobile users are eschewing their phones as a means to access Internet services that remain popular on traditional desktop computers--of course, that means 37 percent of mobile users are accessing some kind of information or services via wireless handsets, suggesting there is at least some demand to expand the consumer experience beyond voice.Â
Jupiter says the catalyst for greater subscriber uptake is improved browser alternatives: "We're not advocating the browser go away, just that there should be an alternative for 'glanceable' content--the content people need frequently," said JupiterResearch vice president Julie Ask in a prepared statement. "Consumers are willing to pay for good experiences and products. The industry should focus on this reality. In turn, they can double or triple current adoption levels and drive up usage by focusing efforts on those cell phone users who would be motivated by a better user interface and more compelling experiences."
JupiterResearch's study arrived at virtually the same time rival research firm NetApplications released its breakdown of OS market share for November 2007, reporting that in just five months since its commercial debut, Apple's iPhone has secured a 0.1 percent share of the global browsing market, topping web browsing on all Windows Mobile devices combined. (For the record, Windows Mobile came in with 0.06 percent market share, followed by Hiptop at 0.02 percent.) The iPhone is already the tenth most popular web browsing platform, a short distance behind desktop platforms Windows NT, Linux and Windows ME, and is now the most popular mobile browser overall. Looks like the alternative has already gone mainstream. -Jason