Commentary
10/29/2009
04:15 PM
Ed Hansberry
Ed Hansberry
Commentary

The State Of The Mobile Web

Opera has released a report on the state of the mobile web and it shows, as expected, growth in the number of people viewing the web on their mobile phones, the number of pages each person views and the amount of data they each consume.



Opera has released a report on the state of the mobile web and it shows, as expected, growth in the number of people viewing the web on their mobile phones, the number of pages each person views and the amount of data they each consume.I am not sure the term "mobile web" is correct anymore. When I think of the mobile web, I think of those specially designed web pages that are stripped of most of the graphics and even some content so they fit on the anemic browsers of yore. What Opera is really talking about is accessing the real web on your phone with a powerful browser. The majors, like the iPhone, WebOS, Windows Mobile and Android all have browsers that do a pretty good job of shoving a desktop web page on the device and making it navigable. For those that want still more, third parties like Opera make even more powerful browsers. They also make browsers for devices that have no browser, or maybe only a WAP browser.

These stats are what Opera sees from users of its Mini browser. Opera Mini runs data through Opera's servers to compress it before sending it to the client, This is necessary for some people with limited data plans or phones with slower processors and small amounts of RAM. It also gives Opera a chance to generate a ton of statistics.

Pages per month has jumped from around two billion at the beginning of 2008 to fifteen billion today. Data has increased from around 25 terabytes to nearly 230 terabytes in the same time frame. Keep in mind that is just for one browser. You can assume that the other browsers on the major smartphone makers have probably seen similar increases

The full report is here. It includes a lot of stats and breaks it down by major market, such as the US, the UK, South Africa and China. The most disturbing statistic is the monthly data cost per country. The US is the highest at $2/MB. That may be skewed due to users buying all-you-can-eat data plans and doing little more than using it for email or occasionally checking stock quotes, the weather or sports scores.

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