Blog Post

Mobile Web Sucks … Seriously

It seems most of the mobile websites are in Russell Beattie’s doghouse. 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.” Ever since I put up GigaOM Mobile, it has started accounting for nearly 4% of my total traffic. That caught me by a surprise to be honest. I mean all these people are actually accessing the site on the go. No RSS fudging numbers. [Of course there could be some folks who are on dial-up and are accessing the lite-weight version of my blog.]

8 Responses to “Mobile Web Sucks … Seriously”

  1. I have a nokia 9300 and the mobile web experience is better when i have good mobile friendly sites. opera is a good send, but it is navigation which leaves me cold on most mobile sites. including my own

  2. Om Today Russel says that with smartphones the mobile web is not so bad.

    Glad to see that he is a fan of Opera been using it for four years and just wish I could get a Palm version.

    Would also say that it gets better once you have 3G and a big screen.

  3. tabitha… after talking to a lot of industry insiders and handset makers i came to the 18 month horizon. most companies feel that that they will ship phones that will have easy to use web browsers. in addition they have told me that most phones will have decent connectivuity in 12-to-18 months. edge is the bare minimum for a decent broswe experience. i am pretty convinced that there is some wiggle room when in the mobile web.

  4. Reading bogs on a cell phone is a criminally bad idea. As if blogs aren’t already a tremendous time sink.

    The problem with mobile is that it has so far been trying to deliver the regular web on a small screen when in fact it needs to figure out a unique role for itself.

    We’ve all heard “mobile’s going to be the next big thing” more times than we care to admint.

  5. Tabitha McNerney

    Om how can you or Russ in any way peg 18 months as a prediction horizon? Merely because the past 18 months saw an increase in phones that have XHTML-MP capabilities? This seems too simpleton. There were a lot of people with MP3 players in their hands before the iPod took off, but MP3 players could be sold on the open market (free enterprise). Mobile phone companies are not open. Rather, they are the so-called “walled gardens”. Do mere mortals really give a rats tail if their phone has XHTML-MP capability? Most people don’t care. What they care about is getting things done and making their lives useful. That takes more than just getting a bunch of phones loaded with XHTML technology in the hands of people. They need a reason to use it. This is gonna be tricky because the content providers are not incentified to do great mobile content sites (like iTunes from Apple on a phone) because the mobile phone carriers are greedy and they think they own the customer (and in fact they do — they are the ones who snail mail the telephone bill to the customer’s house). I don’t see the mobile web being the “next big thing” until other more complicated factors change (way way beyond merely XHTML-MP being in the hands of multitudes), including the cost of data, and EQUAL ACCESS for content providers! Why did the Internet succeed commercially? Because NO ONE CONTROLLED it and just about anyone could become an ISP! Not Microsoft. Not AOL. Not AT&T (but do recall AT&T was planning world dominance with General Magic). As long as Vodafone, Cingular, et al have a stranglehold on the wireless pipes and charge an arm and a leg for mobile data and wall those gardens from creative content providers (not just the big boys with deep pockets like ESPN), I don’t see the mobile web will ever taking off except for businesses perhaps who are willing to spend a pretty penny for their mobile staff (like sales people in the field) — RIM Blackberries are an excellent example. Let’s not fool ourselves on this subject (although Jamdat surely fooled itself for paying $137M a few days ago to Blue Lava for the 15-year rights to Tetris. What happens after 15 years? Do the rights to Tetris return to the proprietors of Blue Lava?).

  6. Yeah… mobile web going to be next big thing…… I’m one of those readers who access your mobile section everyday….. I wish every website has mobile version