Apple, HTC and RIM smartphones currently ship with full Internet browsers. By 2015, 60 percent of all mobile phones will have one of two types of browsers, according to ABI Research.
Smartphones from the likes of Apple, HTC and BlackBerry-maker RIM
all ship with full Web browsers, and within the next five years, more
than half of mobile phones of all types will follow suit, according to
In a report Aug. 3, ABI analysts said that by 2015, more than 60
percent of mobile handsets will include a Web browser. In addition,
they said that browsers will take on one of two forms: full Internet
browsers, like those found on many popular smartphones, or proxy-based
The evoution of browsers for mobile phones will continue to evolve
along those two paths, according to ABI analyst Mark Beccue. In the
report, Beccue described one "highly sophisticated" variety as what
most users consider a "full Internet browser." These are found on both
smartphones and high-end feature phones.
"Such devices can host these browsers because they have advanced
application processors, expanded memory capacity and adequate screen
size and resolution," he said in a statement. "These full Internet
browsers typically require about 64Mb of memory to run. A real key to
the growth of full Internet browsers in higher-end feature phones is
the falling cost of sophisticated applications processors."
The second variety is called proxy-based - or client-server or compression-based. The best-known of these is the Opera Mini browser, which as of January surpassed 50 million unique visitors per month.
"These browsers move some caching and processing off the phone to a
nearby server, allowing the browser to run on lower-cost processors and
requiring as little as 4Mb of memory," said Beccue. "That means these
browsers can be used on even the lowest-cost phones."
Still, ABI is forecasting that the installed base of full Internet
browsers will exceed the less-demanding proxy-based browers some time
during 2012. For browsers to reach 60 percent of the handset market
would still mean doubling the current penetration rate, according to
ABI, though judging by recent figures, the market is well on its way
toward such an accomplishment.
Strategy Analytics put total handset shipment for the second quarter at 308 million units - up 13 percent from a year ago. Smartphone shipments, however, rose to a record-high 60 million units during the quarter
, marking an annual growth of 43 percent. Smartphones running Google's Android mobile OS boasted particular momentum
, with a quarterly growth rate of 886 percent.