There are a lot of brave souls out there making mobile browsers, hoping to gain traction with the phone makers. But most of them are fighting a losing battle, for the mobile browser war is increasingly being fought between two camps — the Webkit-based browsers camp, which includes Safari on the iPhone, the Google Android Browser, the Palm browser and the Nokia browser; and the Opera camp.
Today Research in Motion bought Touch Mobile, a Toronto-based company developing a Webkit-based mobile browser. Maybe it’s time for Microsoft to throw in the towel and officially get on the Webkit bandwagon as well. With the BlackBerry still the reigning champion of the smartphone business, at least in North America, the Webkit is about to get a big boost. Even Mozilla’s Firefox Mobile has an uphill climb ahead, though one can’t blame them for trying. Many mobile industry insiders believe that the browser is one of the biggest drivers of the mobile Internet boom.
Frankly, I can’t wait for my BlackBerry Tour to get some browser smarts and become more useful than its current role of just a solid messaging device.