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Summary:

A lot of talk has been devoted to mobile operating systems lately, with Windows Mobile, Symbian, LiMo and Android getting the lion’s share of the attention. But if you consider that the mobile phone will soon be a place to make calls and access the web […]

A lot of talk has been devoted to mobile operating systems lately, with Windows Mobile, Symbian, LiMo and Android getting the lion’s share of the attention. But if you consider that the mobile phone will soon be a place to make calls and access the web through cloud services, then the operating system is less significant and the browser becomes the king.

Or so says Bob Morris, head of mobile marketing for ARM Holdings, which designs the cores for many of the mobile chips that act as the brains of mobile phones. He says that browsers are the new application framework, which is why ARM is paying close attention to how their cores work with specific browsers rather than only the OS. To that end, ARM has inked a partnership with Mozilla and other vendors to build a Linux-based mobile computing device designed for web surfing on the go. Mozilla is planning a yet-to-be launched mobile browser.

So while the former CEO of Vodafone, Arun Sarin, was pushing for fewer mobile operating systems at the GSM World Congress and CTIA trade shows earlier this year, Morris believes the increasing number of services accessed through a web site such as Facebook or Gmail are what chip vendors and device makers needs to pay attention to. Browsers, plus the right downloads such as Flash or Silverlight, will drive the consumer experience more than the OS.

This trend of mobile web adoption has enhanced the profile and importance of ARM, which designs the cores of most mobile processors that serve as the brains of cell phones. ARM cores are also the basis for Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chips, Texas Instrument’s OMAP3 chips and Nvidia’s Tegra chipset, all of which are designed for faster computing at lower power for mobile phones.

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  1. That statement is spot on and keep in mind that also means that phones that give an excellent browsing experience (a la hand gestures, etc) such as the iPhone become the defacto user preference…

  2. I’m inclined to agree with Morris. I wrote about this recently in relation to Google’s Android and its potential to become fragmented.

    See: Android, it’s the browser stupid.

  3. Mobile Browsers Driving Mobile Web Growth per ARM Wednesday, August 6, 2008

    [...] is the leading provider of chips for mobile phones and apparently they are now focusing on optimizing their processors for browsers. Bob Morris, their Director of Platform Enablement has his eye on the mobile browser wars and calls [...]

  4. Saurabh Kaushik Wednesday, August 6, 2008

    I am in agreement with this concept for ages. I have even written about location based browser and Mobile App to Mobile Web articles.
    See: Mobile App to Mobile Web

  5. Mobile browser more important than operating systems | last100 Wednesday, August 6, 2008

    [...] GigaOm summarizes the thoughts of Bob Morris, head of mobile marketing for ARM Holdings, the company that designs [...]

  6. Hmm. TechCrunch tablet?

  7. There is one browser right now in testing phase called the Skyfire which i am waiting for. Its going to be very good for mobile browsing.

  8. Wednesday Flashback « Changing Way Thursday, August 7, 2008

    [...] obvious, but needed saying, award goes to Bob Morris of ARM. As GigaStacey put it, if you consider that the mobile phone will soon be a place to make calls and access the web through …. Posted by Andrew Filed in Web Tags: arm, cloud, delicious, dell, heekya, mashable, mobile, [...]

  9. msearchgroove » Blog Archive » Mobile Browsers Makes Waves & Bitstream Makes Comeback; Are Browsers The New Application Framework? Tuesday, August 19, 2008

    [...] battle for the control of the user experience.Are browsers the new application framework, as this post from GigaOm suggests? It argues – in my view, quite convincingly – that “browsers, plus the [...]

  10. McGuire’s Law » Blog Archive » Business Observations: September 25, 2008 Edition Friday, September 5, 2008

    [...] ARM Says Browser Drives the Mobile Web [...]

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