Microsoft Tag projects that mobile internet usage will exceed desktop usage by 2014, and Apple is spending millions to convince app developers and mobile consumers that the majority of that traffic will be coming from iPhones. That is possible, but far from likely. Here is why: Of the 4 billion plus mobile phones currently in use around the globe, only about 27% qualify as “smartphones”, and only fraction of those are iPhones. According to a recent Nielson Survey, for example, a rising 37% of the U.S. mobile market use smartphones, but Apple’s share is only 26% of that 37%, or less than 10% of U.S. mobile phone users overall.
iPhone Apps may be “wicked cool”, but the statistics above suggest their coolness may never reach 90% of the mobile market. And even if your pockets are deep enough to develop an equivalent Android App … plus versions of your Mobile App for all of the other smartphone operating systems … you will still be missing almost two-thirds (63%) of today’s mobile internet users.
So how, you are hopefully asking, do you reach them all?
For small businesses with tight budgets–and those who want the biggest bang for their web marketing buck–the answer is to couple Web 3.0 design with W3C mobileOK mobile mini-pages. Semantically-optimized and flash-free web pages that pass all of the Seven Tests of Web 3.0 Readiness are accessible by over 99% of all desktop, notebook and tablet computer web browsers, including the Apple iPad series. Add HTML5/CSS3, a separate stylesheet for cross-platform minibrowsers like Opera Mobile, and a mobile mini-page for older microbrowsers like Openwave, and your mobile commerce (m-commerce) offerings will be accessible by virtually every cell phone manufactured since 2006. And all for a tiny fraction of the high cost to develop a mobile app.