Since the introduction of mobile applications for smartphone devices such as the iPhone and Android in addition to tablets and the iPad, the debate has been raging as to whether the mobile app sector will eventually replace the common website. The short answer is yes, however in this article I will share some evidence with you that will show you why I believe this to be the case so that you can draw your own conclusions and plan accordingly so that you aren’t left behind in the mobile technology race.
First, let’s just have a quick look at other technological advances that have ushered in the demise of their predecessors:
FM Radio – has relegated AM stations in general to low budget talk radio formats will largely local audiences but the ability for listeners to enjoy their favorite stations over the internet and on their mobile devices has breathed new life into even the AM stations.
DVD – The DVD quickly replaced the VHS format for movies and TV Shows after VHS destroyed the BETA format in short order, now Blue Ray is threatening to do the same to the DVD market.
Cellular Technology – The wireless industry has not only birthed many new industries since its introduction to the general public but has also been responsible for the downfall of others that did not recognize the potential of the mobile industry early on. As the popularity of wireless devices increased and carriers began offering unlimited long distance through the users’ monthly subscription, long distance companies began to go the way of the dinosaur and have been all but eliminated in technologically advanced countries. Indeed, the dominance of long distance companies now only exists in countries that allow monopolies to exist and in some Latin American and Caribbean countries, they are actually in partnership with the governments or they are government owned.
I could go on forever with examples but we need to move on to the main issue of this article, namely the eventual takeover of the mobile web by mobile applications.
As one who has been marketing online since 1993, I have seen the birth of the large internet giants like AOL, Google, Yahoo etc and have seen the web go from simple and VERY ugly websites to the beautiful multimedia displays that we have today which now are even accessible on most mobile devices thanks to advances in both hardware and software from the wireless industry. Only three years ago, most people didn’t know what a mobile website was and even though this industry is still relatively young its lifespan is limited as well due to the explosion in popularity of mobile applications led by the iOS and Android markets with Blackberry coming in on the back stretch.
For those who are unfamiliar with mobile applications, they are quite simply a short cut on your mobile device that accesses the same kind of information you would find via the internet and are hosted on servers in much the same way, they just make it quicker, easier and much more efficient than accessing via web browsers. This is one of the primary reasons that the mobile application market will eventually replace the majority of website visits as the majority of the population embraces smartphone technology and the mobile apps that come with it.
In 2010 smart phones outsold PCS for the first time which surprised many in the industry but at the same time sent a wake up call to the computer technology world that the public would actually replace the use of their PC with a mobile device. Here’s a short quote from a Slashgear article from February of 2011:
“The popularity of smartphones is exploding as the IDC reports a total of 100.9 million smartphones were shipped worldwide during the fourth quarter of 2010. The number represents an 87.2% jump from last year’s fourth quarter number of 53.9 million. Yearly totals jumped as well from 173.5 million smartphones in 2009 to 302.6 million, a 74.4% increase. It also is the first time that smartphones have outsold PCs in history.”
Now, we fast forward a few months and the sales of smartphone devices outsold feature phones for the first time, proving the growing popularity of this new technology and the overwhelming acceptance to the general public. Bit-Tech reported in an article from September of 2011 that, “Figures show that feature phone shipments were down 29 per cent at 20.4 million units in the second quarter of this year, while smartphone shipments increased by 48 per cent to 21.8 million units compared to the same period a year ago. This means that smartphone shipments accounted for 52 per cent of all mobile phone shipments.”
So, what does all this have to do with mobile applications? Indulge me for a couple of more minutes as I put the rest of the pieces of the puzzle together for you.
In the short term mobile websites will continue to see increased growth and popularity as the majority of mobile device users prefer a site the is optimized for mobile as opposed to a traditional website but over the next few years as the dominance of smart phones increases along with the public’s voracious appetite for mobile applications, the mobile app market will become the predominate way for users to get their information as well as interact with friends and business associates around the world without fear of prohibitive cost.
The widespread adaptation of mobile technology and of smart phones in particular gave birth to the incredible and unprecedented growth of mobile applications with over 40 BILLION mobile apps downloaded as of this writing according to Flurry, a mobile analytics firm. In addition since summer of 2011, the number of smart phone users accessing the internet via their mobile device has exceeded access via PC and the trend is increasing as shown by the chart below:
There is no doubt in my mind that the future of mobile technology and the mobile web lies within the mobile application sector and the Andiamo Corporation with its subsidiaries is well positioned to be a dominant player in the industry. Action-App is a mobile development company that also seeks out and acquires other mobile app developers in conjunction with AppTrading.com while their AllProApps division will bring mobile applications to small independent business owners around the world at a fraction of the cost of conventional websites and also reduce their advertising cost while encouraging a closer relationship with their customers.
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