Mobile Web Dead?

Former Yahoo! Mobile evangelist turned startup entrepreneur Russell Beattie announced today that he’s calling it quits for his company Mowser because the market for mobile browsing is taking a fast turn for the worse. “The mobile traffic just isn’t there,” Beattie says, “It’s not there now, and it won’t be.”

[From Is the Mobile Web Dead? Some Mobile Entrepreneurs Say Yes – ReadWriteWeb]

Carriers have destructive power, mobile devices are restrictive, diversity of devices force considerable porting cost on developers, and lastly, users want a richer experience. Is mobile web dead? That question suggests that it was once alive.

The mobile browser on my iPhone is about as good as they come but on EDGE it’s slooooowwwwww. Even on wifi I rarely use it because I just don’t get enough of a bang out of mobile web apps and typing on the virtual keyboard is laborious.

Stop the insanity! The mass market does not use the mobile web as a regular mode of interacting with the bigger web! If they did we would be seeing traffic numbers growing and application developers moving to the mobile web.

M:Metrics reports that an impressive number of iPhone users have used mobile web features, but what is the sample size polled and did they distinguish between “have used” and “use regularly”? I’ve used my iPhone for all of the reasons M:Metrics reports but only occasionally, usually for looking up phone numbers and addresses (Google maps is rather handy). Obviously my experience is not unique, Gabe Rivera is reporting that mobile Techmeme is less than 1% of his traffic.

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