Monday, April 21, 2008

...we had more game-changers like Apple in the world.

A post over at Small Surfaces pretty much sums up the feeling that most mobile web developers have had since the iPhone was announced in Feb. 2007.  Why bother developing for those crappy, crippled mobile browsers that nobody uses to begin with?  The PC didn't really take off until consumers were given a GUI.  Mobile web was basically ignored until consumers were given a true, desktop-class web browser in their pocket and now you're seeing crazy numbers like 25% of it's suddenly expanding mobile banking users at Bank of America are using iPhone.  The bank has said that the iPhone is forcing the bank to rapidly adapt it's mobile banking strategy to accommodate what was once a small, relatively stagnant group of customers.  Russell Beattie, the man behind Mowser: the mobile browser laments:

Now the question you might be asking is why not stick with it a little longer? Get a contract or something and tough it out since it's "only" been a year, and many companies have had to struggle for a lot longer than that before taking off. Beyond the fact that I'm irretrievably in debt, the general answer is that I don't actually believe in the "Mobile Web" anymore, and therefore am less inclined to spend time and effort in a market I think is limited at best, and dying at worst. I'm talking specifically about sites that are geared 100% towards mobile phones and have little to no PC web presence. Two years ago I was convinced that the mobile web would continue to evolve in the West to mimic what was happening in countries like Japan and Korea, but it hasn't happened, and now I'm sure it isn't going to.

In other words, I think anyone currently developing sites using XHTML-MP markup, no Javascript, geared towards cellular connections and two inch screens are simply wasting their time, and I'm tired of wasting my time.

Read more here.

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