When will Mobile Become the Next Big Thing?

September 27, 2007

Scott Karp from the Publishing 2.0 blog lists five arguments explaining why mobile is not yet very exciting:

1. Wireless carrier networks are SLOW
2. Public WiFi access is a SCAM
3. Sites aren’t formated for small screens
4. Mobile device screens are too small
5. Advertising gets in the way

What it means: I agree with his assessment, especially in North America. I’ve often been asked by traditional media publishers: “How do we leapfrog Google, Yahoo, MSN?”. I think one of the potential answers is Mobile. I’ve never been really excited by mobile’s potential until I attended the Web 2.0 Expo last April. I got the feeling when I was there that mobile is about to become real. Something in the zeitgeist, about the convergence of the various interests of hardware manufacturers, content publishers and the technological community. I think we’re still 24 months away from tangible results but, if you operate a local media business, you should be thinking hard about mobile today. You should have a couple of dedicated resources working on the mobile strategic plan, thinking about user experience specifically adapted for mobile browsing and the 3-inch screen, thinking about what kind of ads will be most efficient in that medium. Send that team to Japan or South Korea to see what people are doing with their mobile devices there. Invest some dollars now. Mobile is all about local and you can’t afford to miss that wave.

Update (& related topic): my friend Colin talks about overpriced mobile data plans in Canada

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4 Responses to “When will Mobile Become the Next Big Thing?”


  1. One little omission in the Scott Karp post. They are more mobile in circulation world-wide than the sum of televisions and computers. When you got a 2.5 billion potential clients the market will open up really soon !


  2. One little omission in the Scott Karp post. They are more mobile in circulation world-wide than the sum of televisions and computers. When you got a 2.5 billion potential clients the market will open up really soon !

  3. Phil Barrett Says:

    Mobile will become more relevant than the web. There is actually nearly 3 billion mobile devices now – compare that to 1.2 billion internet connections from computers…and you know this is the next thing

    Usability issues around the mobile web are being addressed and some sites have done a great job adopting. Check out the mobile domain http://dotmobi.mobi and W3C to see what is happening.

    I also blog frequently on trends and perspective on the Mobile marketing industry here: http://www.burningthebacon.com

  4. Phil Barrett Says:

    Mobile will become more relevant than the web. There is actually nearly 3 billion mobile devices now – compare that to 1.2 billion internet connections from computers…and you know this is the next thing

    Usability issues around the mobile web are being addressed and some sites have done a great job adopting. Check out the mobile domain http://dotmobi.mobi and W3C to see what is happening.

    I also blog frequently on trends and perspective on the Mobile marketing industry here: http://www.burningthebacon.com


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