Friday, 18 May 2012

Social networks and web browsing low-end phones

There is an app for that is an unfortunate phrase in many ways - for one, it makes some people immediately assume that it's content is only for smartphones, or worse, just the iPhone....

Those days are well and truly gone. Anybody who has followed Opera Mini stats around the world will have seen that web browsing has been on the exponential rise around the world since the middle of the last decade, however this is no longer the case, as QVGA colour screens that were in the high-end Nokia 6500 of 5 years ago have made their way onto $50 handsets, so the facebook and web phenomena has reached all who want it... what is the difference?

These were the early adopters and the "me-too's", who know how to get a phone, get the right OTA data settings and save a bookmark. However, apps, including Apple's app store, did not make it big time (100,000 apps plus to the now 500,000+) until it went mass market. And that is what is now happening at the lowest end of the market, with facebook and web browsing making its way onto entry level handsets.
Facebook and the web now make it mass market on low end devices

This makes a big difference, more than many realise. You would be surprised at the kind of and supposed technical level of people who ask me to put Facebook on Blackberry's and even iPhones and Android devices, and from people I have spoken to in stores (yes I am that guy...) this is a big request from the most unlikely candidates: these are people with iPads, laptops, smartphones, blogs and even running their own online business that struggle to get, or do not want to get having to do this to their devices.

In short, if you play in mobile, at any level, these days: be it a handset manufacturer, mobile operator, MVNO or even a brand or retail player - putting your app on the store and saying "there's an app for that" is no longer enough, and in fact, its not even about the app, its about the app or link (80:20 rule, 20% want an app as they use it often, 80% will be happy with mobile web experience or a web app) being easy to get to for the mass market.

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