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Mobile's Inching Closer to Web Models

By - June 10, 2005

One of my favorite current gripes is how the mobile world lives in a walled garden, and fails at the basic test: Can I build on my mobile device what I can build on the web? I’m not talking about pure functionality, of course, I understand that there are device- and context-specific constraints. I’m talking about presumptive ecologies here – the web is open, mobile is closed. That means you have to go through carriers to get anything done, or have a business model of any kind. That means development is limited, and, well, mobile apps are constrained.

This could be changing. SEW notes that Yahoo has signed a deal with Mobile Commerce to provide keyword ads for a WAP-based travel search play. Not exactly revolutionary, but it shows the bleeding over of web-based models (paid search) into the mobile space. I am not very mobile savvy, but I yearn for the day I can have a device which has, at its core, the equivalent of “Naked DSL” built in, so folks can deliver cool applications and business models to my mobile device without having to cut Verizon, Sprint, or someone else in on the deal. Will it ever happen?

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One thought on “Mobile's Inching Closer to Web Models

  1. mobilejones says:

    This post ( addresses some of what you’re alluding to with the mobile internet comparison. There are parallels between the evolution of the mobile access to the internet and wired access. VZW is the mobile AOL. Power users like you have options that require more effort just as in the early days of wired access.

    AOL walled garden introduced millions to the net as VZW will introduce millions to mobile net access.

    Power user consumers must separate their device choice from network service provider. The SIM card is your network access and the device is a different decision. Carrier device subsidies are not a good deal for power users. Symbian phones offer you an astonishing catalogue of applications and off portal solutions now, today.

    Search is the key to liberate users as it was for wired access. Google and Yahoo! provide it.

    There are also distinctions to being mobile – a life style as it were. Shorter time frames, the immediacy factor and the importance of location are all new factors in network access when mobile.

    Finally, the sameness of broadband and mobile uptake barriers, i.e., cost. Sameness – cost will come down, newbies will come through portals, bandwidth must increase and power users already have wholes in the wall to peek through, i.e., location window. Remember when that was the only view to the vast www that AOL users had?

    Self publishing helps the explosion. WINKSite, Rabble, Wave Market,and many many more are here. Geocities – analogy from the past – and other unsatisfactory yet amazing self publishing experiences will improve in familiar ways.

    Mobile power users are in the wild already. Join us.