Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The mobile web, still born?

Back in 2005 Russell Beattie said,
If someone's using a PC to demo the next big thing, then it's not the next big thing...
He no long seems to believe that and announced today (via Read/Write Web) that he's calling it quits on his startup Mowser which joins the deadpool today. I'm not surprised. I firmly believe in his statement, but I've always disagreed with his assumption that the next big thing is mobile browsing.

I've argued before that the reason that the iPhone is so successful in the mobile browser market is that it isn't a phone. It isn't competing against the rest of the smart phone market because it's not a phone, it's an internet device, that happens to be able to make phone calls.

When it comes down to it mobile phones aren't about features, they're about ergonomics. That pretty much rules out being able to browse the web, people will make quick dashes, raids, for information. But spending time browsing?

The next big thing isn't going to be on a desktop, desktops are pretty much dead tech except for specialised uses, but the next big thing also isn't going to be the web. The last big thing was the web, it isn't going to be the next thing as well, making it mobile isn't big enough.

The next big thing is ubiquitous computing, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise...

1 comment:

  1. Your first paragraph assumes waaaay too much. I didn't take back that statement, and firmly still believe it for exactly the reasons you laid out.

    What I said, specifically, was that the market for mobile-only websites was limited at best, dying at worst. Not that the concept of mobility is somehow wrong.

    I'm actually super-excited about the MID devices and the potential they have.