INSIDE MOBILE: Mobile-Centric Computing

Most of the popular Websites have created or are in the process of creating a mobile-friendly version of their Website. Hundreds of thousands of new mobile applications for smartphones are also being developed right now. Here, Knowledge Center mobile and wireless analyst J. Gerry Purdy discusses these two mobile trends, plus shares his vision for the next revolution in mobile that will change things around yet again.


One thing you may not know is how the Web is being re-created all over again. You might sensibly ask, "Why would anyone want to do that?" since it took so much effort to define the standards and create tens of millions of Websites in the first place.

The reason that a good part of the Web is being re-created right before our eyes is summed up in one word: mobile. If you use a mobile Web browser on your smartphone and enter a traditional Website, the experience is less than positive. Most of the time, it's just plain awful. That's because normal Websites are not meant to be viewed on tiny screens using smartphones. As a result, if that site has not been modified to be mobile-friendly, then the user typically gets a poor experience.

Most of the popular Websites have already created or are in the process of creating a mobile-friendly version of their Website that provides a better experience when accessed by someone using a smartphone. It's likely that 20 percent of the Websites get 80 percent of the traffic, so it's those sites that have spent the time and money to create a mobile version of their Website. Over time, more of the "long tail" of less regularly accessed Websites will get converted to be mobile-friendly.

The creation of mobile-friendly goes beyond simple management of small screens. The entire inventory of ads you see on smartphones is different from the ads on the traditional Web. This inventory of ads is sold separately, with companies such as MillennialMedia and others focusing on selling ads on mobile-specific Websites.

So, the next time you use your iPhone or Android or BlackBerry to visit a popular Website, it's more than likely the experience will be acceptable due to the site developers creating a mobile-friendly version for viewing on smartphones. You'll also see ads that are different from the ads that are on the traditional Web page when viewed by a Mac or PC.