As we look forward to a new year, we believe the current focus on ”apps” is a fad. Within the next few years, most mobile content will be viewed through a browser, driven by three key trends:
- Advances in mobile browser technology, specifically access to GPS and camera functions;
- Content owners’ desire to reach consumers broadly and manage their mobile business similarly to how they manage their current web business, specifically with a more unified, less fragmented technology platform allowing them to utilize key tools from the web including search engine optimization, A-B testing, and integrated reporting; and
- Consumers’ increasing use of mobile phones as their access point to the web. Shipments of smartphones will exceed PCs as early as 2012, creating a very rapid evolution in internet access.
Therefore, we believe native apps will soon be limited to games, novelty items, and certain niche applications that require intensive local processing on the handset.
Furthermore, due to the rapid pace of innovation and competition in mobile devices, including tablets, no standards will emerge to solve the industry’s big fragmentation problems. As a result, content owners will increasingly rely on platform technologies for managing the mobile presentation layer.
Our perspective is somewhat provocative but comes directly from our extensive experience working with leading brands on their mobile offerings.