Is mobile web the future
What is the mobile web's role in the future of the web. How will mobile and desktop be used, together or separately. Smartphones are huge, but still have a long way to grow. Only 45.4 million people own smartphones out of a total subscriber base of 234 million people in the US alone.
Smartphones are inexpensive [source]. Carrier subsidies allow for the total cost of a device to be stretched out over a couple of years. This allows them to be acquired by a larger number of people across the socioeconomically spectrum. They will be everywhere.
Phones are portable, they fit in a pocket, they are the easiest thing to grab for when information access is required. They double as personal communication devices. When someone wants to speak to someone they call them on their phone with the expectation that the owner of the phone has it on their person. They will be with us always, everywhere we are. They are literal everywhere.
How important will mobile be? How many people will use the phone as their primary Internet device? Mobile web usage is growing [source] and projected to grow even more [source]. Already 40% of tweets come from mobile devices [source].
Phones, small screens, consumers of information. Desktop and laptops, large screen, consumer and creator. To what degree will we the majority of people forgo a creation device for a consumption device. How much creation is enough to warrant a creation device. Can students type their thesis on a phone, will they abandon their laptops after they graduate. Will only high-end content creators?graphic designers, web developers?posses these content creation computers, or will the general populous continue to own and use both desktop and mobile devices.
There has always been a balance in computing between the high-end of computing and the mass market of the everyday computer. Creative professional alone will always require large screens to aid in creation that would be overkill for a consumer just looking to read an article, or comment on her friends social network post. The gap in useability, a short reply versus a long reply, alone requires a larger dedicated keyboard suited to that task. Mobile and desktop will be used for different purposes, but together in a symbiotic dance.
Neither mobile nor desktop will win. Instead we'll find ourselves in a world of multiple devices in multiple locations showing different views of our information and letting us interact with it in different ways. Mobile and desktop acting together in concert to aid us in weaving our lives through the digital fabric that is the global Internet.