2G to 4G: Do we need mobile web versions?

Samsung android smartphone i9000 Galaxy S
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As Verizon rolls out its first 4G handset in the US and the UK prepares for a spectrum auction in 2012, Giga Om’s Kevin Tofel wonders if we’ll need mobile versions of web sites in the future.

In the 2G world the argument against desktop versions was that they took an age to load, but with speeds ramping up, usability improving, tablets becoming more widespread and budgets under pressure that’s a position that’s going to be increasingly challenged.

Tofel answers his own question by saying the mobile-friendly web isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, partly because “it will take years of additional smartphone adoption and network expansion before we see a decline in mobile sites.”

The other argument, which he doesn’t advance, is that mobile browsing and desktop browsing are not the same thing; location, “nowness” and context become much more important for smartphone users than for those engaged in desktop browsing.

HTML5 may make it easier to port content to multiple platforms and devices but the companies who succeed will understand the difference been static consumption, portability and mobility. There is no one-size-fits-all solution


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