Every year people claim “That this year is the year of the mobile web!” It kind of reminds me of the Chicago Cubs fans’ mantra, “Just wait ’til next year!” I believe we are on the verge of mass mobile web adoption in English-speaking countries, but I will stop short of saying it will happen this year. Expect some behavioral shifts in that direction, though. Here are my top seven predictions for the mobile web in 2009.
- I predict another year of expansive growth in mobile apps (iPhone/Android). These apps will allow people to stay comfortably inside their phones while venturing on to the mobile web. In my opinion, this is an extension of the “walled garden” concept. Instead of staying within the “walled garden” of the mobile provider, a large percentage of people will remain within the confines of what is available at the apps store.
- Mass adoption by individuals will be hindered somewhat by economic constraints as dataplans may not be seen as priorities in family budgets. I further predict this will be overcome as better content becomes available and consumers become aware of the benefits of mobile web surfing. Mobile social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn will lead the way.
- Sales of computer replacement devices such as iPhone will continue as families decide they are more cost-effective than computers. There is a precedent for this in Japan.
- Marketers will remain confused over how best to use the medium for another year or so.
- Search engine algorithms will improve to provide a heavier weight to mobile content in mobile search engine results.
- .mobi will continue to make progress as a business domain extension as more and more companies see the convenience of using companyname.mobi to redirect to their mobile sites as a courtesy to their customers. Additionally, companies who have seen their trademarks registered by domain squatters will file additional WIPO cases.
- More mobile payment options will become available to mobile website owners as the patent applications make their way through the system.
There you have it. Check this space in December to see which of these predictions have come true and which have fizzled.
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