Opera Mini‘s reports on the state of mobile web are likely to be a true reflection of the mobile access and hence a surrogate marker of what’s popular at the given point in time. I am reproducing the snapshot of the Internet traffic here:
If you look carefully, bulk of the developing and the underdeveloped countries utilize the mobile web to access social networking sites. US (and some other developed economies) are lower down the scale.
Interestingly, the data transferred per user is a pathetic 7 MB (averaged over the month perhaps?) which means that operators are still being generous with their limits. However, this is a crude approximation. For once, we have a clear proof that mobile internet is definitely a part of their value added services kitty but is NOT the revenue driver for them. They are offering it because there is no alternative.
This also explains their aggressive stance to get the 3G spectrum; primarily to add more voice customers than to offer data services.
If you look at the snapshot of the popular phones, Nokia is still leading the pack but majority of them are NOT smartphones. These java based handsets are pathetic in terms of functionality and at best useful for “checking the status updates” on Facebook.
A surprise entry is that of “Micromax” handset; they have capitalized on aggressive marketing and low price entry point.
Unfortunately, this does not portend good for the broadband initiatives. A cursory glance at the top sites (Google leads the pack) is only indicative. Google has benefited from being the default search engine on the browser and hence the port of call for any search. I barely use my handset for GPRS (or EDGE) for web surfing because smartphones (and their form factor) is basically useless to transact anything useful. For me, the only reason to invest is for email.
Nevertheless, this report can again be questioned in terms of “growth of users”. It is not clear about how the methodology has been arrived at and what has constituted the “growth in real terms”. However, one thing is clear. Most of the web sites focused on Indian content don’t have mobile strategies to counter the growth in the user base. Pathetic.
Indeed, with majority of the young adults unable to read/write or even engage in meaningful conversations on Indian polity, this “dumbification” was expected.
Facebook, although shows some presence (in terms of mobile access), mobile broadband is still “not hot” in US of A. There could be myriad factors but then Opera’s state of web access is best a “snapshot” of the handsets and it’s deal with the OEM‘s to bundle the product.
- New mobile Web Google Maps highlights sorry state of native iOS app (arstechnica.com)
- Small world on small screens (opera.com)
- Google Maps For Mobile Updates With More Features (techie-buzz.com)
- Half of India uses Internet only through Mobile [Infographic] (trak.in)
- Mobile Web Content in East Africa [Report] (whiteafrican.com)
- Mobile Web in India grows 308% – Micromax one of the most popular mobiles to access Internet (trak.in)
- Opera to supply its mobile browser solution to Spreadtrum (opera.com)
- Book Review: Professional Mobile Web Development (books.slashdot.org)
- Web App Masters: Native or Web-Based Mobile Apps? (lukew.com)
- Maxis customers to surf the Internet up to six times faster with the Maxis-Opera Mini browser (opera.com)
- Opera Mini now sports Indian content by default! (trak.in)
- More Features in Google Maps for Mobile Browsers (mt-soft.com.ar)
- Google revamps Google Maps browser edition for iOS and Android (mobile-ent.biz)
- Saatchi mobile marketer: Mobile web is better value than apps (briefingmedia.wordpress.com)
- State of the Mobile Web (francescofederico.net)
- Why I’m Not Excited About Mobile Applications (samirbalwani.com)
- 58% Of Mobile Web Users Get Their Content Fix Through Browsers: Jumptap (techcrunch.com)
- Mobiltel joins the Opera Mini adventure (opera.com)