Taptu released a brilliant mobile web report (embedded below). There are two three key points that come out of this great data:

  1. The mobile web is twice as large as mobile applications and growing significantly faster
  2. Mobile web focuses on utilities: shopping and social. The mobile app world focuses on gaming and entertainment

There are a few corollaries from this analysis:

Applications that need hardware acceleration or hardware features will remain applications. Social and ecommerce apps will migrate to web apps

We have chatted about this before. Any application that needs to access hardware in a reliable/standardized way will be an app. Applications that need broad appeal, require lower development cost and universal access will be built on HTML5. 

The mobile web will be larger in revenue terms than mobile apps

Like internet gaming, mobile gaming will be a small subset of a very large mobile web pie. eCommerce at about $220B and gaming somewhere in the range of $20. Nevertheless, mobile gaming will be a multibillion dollar business. 

Carriers will gravitate toward phones that promote mobile web usage instead of mobile apps

AT&T saw 50x traffic growth in 18 months due to the combination of iPhone + apps. Without question, the users consuming most of that data are the least profitable (the same is true for data cards: 2% of users consume 60% of resources). As the carrier networks become increasingly congested, usage tariffs will become en vogue. Users, preferring lower bills, instead will use apps that consume less data – the web apps. This also largely means a reduction in video. 

Since web apps are text based with some graphics (but are not graphics or network intensive), they’re cheaper to deliver and make for profitable customers. As the innovation in phones reaches a steady state after the initial iPhone explosion, carriers will differentiate less on handsets and more on data plans and prices at scale.