Mobile Will Be Bigger Than Desktop by 2015

Posted by Martin White on 29 Nov, 2012

…PREDICTED MORGAN STANLEY’S ANALYSTS, BASED ON THE CURRENT RATE OF CHANGE AND ADOPTION.

Whether mobile will, in fact, overtake desktop browsing by this date or not, everyone seems to be preparing for it: Google released a recent blog titled “recommendations for building smartphone-optimized websites” and Facebook updated their iOS application to include advertising to ensure this revenue stream is not lost if users switch their browsing device preferences.

The telephone (and then mobile) has of course been the preferred device for communication for far longer than the PC. Since the mobile web has come so far, users are moving away from the PC desk and spending more time using internet communications such as social media and VOIP on a mobile device (Skype has over 551m users!). According to the Morgan Stanley report, the average iPhone user only spends 45% of their on-device time making phone calls.

But will responsive design start the decline of the app and mobile site development?

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Adam Levene, CSO of Mobile web developer Grapple suggests: “Mobile websites benefit from the easy discovery of mobile search and are great for offering instant information but few are sticky. Native apps, however, provide a slick rich experience that encourages repeat use time and time again.”

I agree with Adam that Native apps provide a slicker experience than mobile websites and I feel like there will always be a place for apps in the future if users will regularly return to the service or where it is beneficial to provide users with offline content or location services.

Having said that; a trend I am seeing is that online content is progressively taking over content that has to be downloaded. Mobile device manufacturers are complimenting this trend by pushing cloud services in place of increasing hard drive size (see Google Chrome BookiCloud).

For more on Responsive Web Design; see my colleague Jamie Eastabrook’s blog: The web is not fixed width and it never was!

Tags: Responsive design, Mobile, App design

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