Study: Smartphones driving mobile browser growth

Smartphone browsers supporting capabilities like AJAX and RSS are now driving the mobile browser market according to analysis firm ABI Research, which forecasts the open-Internet browser segment for mobile will grow from 76 million browsers in 2007 to close to 700 million delivered in 2013. According to ABI, mobile browser developers must take advantage of the latest web standards while creating solutions optimized for the overall mobile web experience, enabling consumers to access content without limitations enforced by browser constraints. However, ABI notes that the mobile web experience still lags some distance behind PC-based browsing, due largely to the absence of key plug-ins on many handsets.

"There is a lot of development momentum for web content on mobile phones," said ABI research director Michael Wolf in a prepared statement. "The move towards web-based applications means browser and web services engines will become increasingly important for mobile, whether these are in a commercial browser implementation or a customized widget. Ultimately, the long-term trend away from native applications to web-based applications means browser and web services engines will be increasingly important components in the mobile environment."

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