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Stowe Boyd is a well-known media subversive, and an internationally recognized authority on real-time, collaborative and social technologies. His new blog is Message.
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April 24, 2005

Mobile Websites - Bad but to be improved

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Posted by Arieanna Foley

How is it that most webistes don't offer mobile versions? And, for those who do, why don't you take the time to actually make your websites accessbile and clean for viewing on mobile phones? It seems the effort in the marketplace is tentative, at best, to support this growing trend. Are we truly ready to see a giant step forward from this market?

From: Om Malik on Broadband:

The bad experience with WAP 1.0 and lack of seriousness is one of the main reasons why many are missing out a huge opportunity. I could not agree more with Russell’s remark that 'within the 18 months, the mobile web is going to become the next big thing.'

I am surprised at the lack of consistency right now, and the lack of progress that has been made in recent months. Mobile phones can do so much more than make a call now - the tools are there to push for connectivity in so many ways. But the uptake has been slow and inconsistent. One of the main obstacles to growth is the lack of effort put forth to test the waters. It's just not consumer friendly. There is nothing compelling me to view either my feeds or websites online. The technology is expensive, the formatting is awful, and the UIs are quite unfriendly.

However, I can also see the mobile environment picking up on the trends pretty quickly: better tools, a consistent standard for viewing, and design appropriate for mobile viewing. And hopefully, pricing models that encourage trial of these new added services. There is a great analysis of the state of the environment by Russell Beattie.

It's not a chicken and egg thing any more. There are more XHTML-MP phones out there than all the PDAs combined. It's a fact: 50% of the people who own phones in the U.S. (that's 85 million people) bought them within the last 18 months. And since every operator since Christmas 2003 has sold XHTML phones, this means there are at *least* that many WAP2 phones here in the U.S. ready to see mobile content.[Russell Beattie]

Comments (1) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Technology


COMMENTS

1. Chris Ritke on April 25, 2005 02:26 AM writes...

I keep wondering: where's the revenue? Isn't it only the telcos making money off of these services? Is there going to be Adwords for mobile? What good would it do me if I were to make a pretty XHTML-MP rendition of 49media.com or whatever else - even if people were to use it - what then?

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