Do a search on Google for the “mobile web is dead”. Use the “quote” marks – guaranteeing that exact phrase and you will get over a thousand results. May not seem like a lot but the fact that anyone can say that the mobile web is dead is probably nearing death themselves.
3 million iPhone 3G phones sold in one month – 3 MILLION. Yeah – um in case you weren’t aware – that also included a required unlimited data plan – you know the Internet.
Now if you define the “mobile web” as a web browser on a phone then maybe there is some validity to that statement – but if you talk about the “mobile web” as the ability to connect to the Internet from a mobile device and perform functions you would normally perform on a PC or Laptop – then we are far from dead. In fact, you could say that we are just beginning.
Up until this point there were really only a few choices for accessing the mobile web
2.) Windows Mobile
3.) Pocket PC
4.) Palm OS
Or like some crazy people I know the mobile providers “browser” (if that is what you call it) provides limited “useable” access to the Internet.
Well they have finally announced the long awaited Android. And I am quite frankly very excited.
Granted they are not expecting the kind of surge seen by Apple but then again the model for Android is quite different and requires different marketing techniques. Rest assured though – this OS will be a formidable opponent for Apple and really for one reason – Open Standards Based Development.
The Android OS is maintained as an open platform which was designed by over 30 technology and mobile companies and is managed by the Open Handset Alliance. I expect this type of Open platform to produce a few things:
1.) Competition – not just on the software side – but on the hardware side. The one problem plaguing iPhone (if you think objectively) today, is that there is one piece of hardware and one provider. Android will work on almost any piece of hardware and can be delivered by any provider. In a world where Motorola can go to the industries darling (remember when EVERYONE owned a Razr) to the industry’s fool – a la – what have you done for me lately, Android should be welcomed – very welcomed. Not sure if this will breathe life into companies like Motorola but if I was given an OS that would give me an easy platform to build iPhone-esque applications, instead of spending years perfecting my own – I would jump at the chance
2.) Growth – if everyone bought an iPhone because it was the only viable option for smart applications – in a few years the mobile web would be pretty stagnant. We would be shackled by the vision of essentially one man – that does not sound like fun.
What this means for consumers is that we will continue to see innovation. If Apple never came back with the Mac and it never gained momentum we would never have seen Vista …. uh…wait…. I mean we would never have seen …. well you get what I mean.
The growth of the Web was fueled by Open Standards and the ability to “view source” – which is essentially an open source environment. At least, Android will offer that similar environment which can only hope will fuel competition and make mobile computing something better tomorrow than what it is today.