Life doesn't hand out second chances very often. But you have one now. Mobile browsing is changing the way consumers use the internet, and while that change has taken a while to materialize, I think what we're about to see is a mobile computing and browsing renaissance.
Lets look at some very telling information.
** The iPhone is currently responsible for .23% of all U.S. web traffic.
** Microsoft has said it expects license sales of its mobile operating system to outpace smartphone market growth in the next few years. It expects the market to quadruple in size in 3 to 4 years to around 400 million handsets. It will be launching a fully-featured version of its Mobile Internet Explorer browser this year.
** Google's Android Mobile OS is coming soon.
** As of Q1 this year, RIM (BlackBerry) has 44.5% of all smartphone marketshare — a new OS is on the way, as well as 2 new phones (Bold & Thunder) that will make mobile web browsing a much fuller experience.
(chart courtesy of ars technica)
Are you prepared for what is on the way? Or even what is here now?
Here's a simple litmus test: Borrow an iPhone. Visit your brand's website.
If you can't navigate it easily, or it doesn't display in a way that makes you actually want to spend time on it, then you're not ready.
If you don't have an iPhone available, I'll save you some time. If your website uses Flash for any kind of navigation, fuhgeddaboudit. The iPhone doesn't display Flash. At least not yet.
If you've been at all involved with mobile over the last few years, you've likely been developing WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) sites. These sites were meant to be viewed on a small screen, like the one you might have on a flip-phone.
Well, phones are getting smarter. Literally.
Smartphones have bigger screens, better rendering capabilities, touch-sensing technology, and numerous other features that make those websites eyesores compared to what is possible now using higher resolution and CSS.
Phones are becoming more like laptops each and every day, and you need to be thinking about this now.
On July 11th, the new iPhone hits stores. By the end of the year, we'll have new RIM and Windows Mobile phones available. Heck, we may even see Google's Android on phones before year's end.
Are you going to wait for your consumers to have a disappointing experience once they get their hands on these phones? Or will you be there for them when they do? And if you're an agency, are you equipped to to handle this type of development?
And just wait until mobile social networking becomes one of the most popular activities on these devices. You'll wish you were ready now. Watch this Wikipedia page explode over the next 12 months.