Cooking the mobile web

Ingredients:
Handsets, Operators efforts, Content and Educated public.

Instructions:
Prepare your handsets until most of them are technically ready to display and browse mobile content.
While this step is going in a good way, start the long process to shape mobile content, it must have a nice flavor of context relative.
Last step you gently mix operators efforts to provide a cheap, fast and enthusiastic access. And don’t forget to pour some education on your public, so everybody will know that mobile web is cool, cheap and tasty!

Where are we today? (or when is the cooking ready? I’m starving!)

  • Handset: This is nearly done, check out all the new middle market phones and even some low ends one. Most of them have a proper web browser (even the cheap Nokia 2626 has wap2.0 GPRS capability). With the actual cadence of renewing the mobile phone, and the trend for big screens, in one or two years the average of phones in use will be fully web capable and enjoyable.

  • Content: It's growing, but the snowball effect hasn’t yet begun. At least a nice part of the “big sites” from internet did a mobile version (portals like Yahoo, Google, popular newspaper, blogs…) and an early developers community is growing. We can start to see sites more interesting than company showroom, like relevant mobile web services, rxd.mobi, taxicab.mobi …

  • Operators: Maybe the point that can catalyse the others. If you tell your brother he can watch inane YouTube videos on his mobile, he'll answer "oh cool, but it's expensive!?". Some leading actions are taken, like the AT&T unlimited data for the iPhone, but still a small target market of fortunate geeks. And operators like to keep stupid decisions when it sounds like making money. Remember not so long ago most operators were charging per minute instead of seconds. But maybe they are afraid of the competition of free web services, like chatting, emails, and the evil Voice Over IP!

  • The general public: finally the mayonnaise will succeed only if the public do a massive usage. Look how 3G video-calling was heralded as revolutionary, but appears to have flopped. On one hand people are already internet-educated thanks to the ubiquity of computers, and they (especially the kids) frequently use mobile phones for purposes other than voice-telephony, such as music, photos, chatting, even for fashion!. But for now, mobile surfing isn't really in the kids mind, only in the rich-geek community and some early adopters.

Of course, as for all recipes everybody has their own variations with some homemade tweaks – feel free to share your point of view on it!

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