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The Complex, Changing Mobile Landscape

Some marketing directors believe optimizing for one or two mobile platforms is enough - say, iPhone and Blackberry. While a reasonable thought, deeper analysis shows a more complex, multifaceted reality that is continually evolving.

There are many distinct mobile platforms, each with their own quirks, capabilities and differences. Hundreds of different smartphones are used by consumers in the USA alone. It's for this reason that quality mobile design firms must invest many thousands, even tens of thousands of dollars each year, in purchasing new devices for testing.

For example, while most people assume iPhone is dominant thanks to Apple's skill at public relations, in fact there are now considerably more Android phones in use (10% total mobile market share of iPhone vs. 15% Android, as of August 2011, in the USA). Mobile Web Up's solution is not partial: it is systemically designed to cover all major smartphone platforms in your target market.

Further, the market share proportions change quarterly in unpredictable ways. For example, if you find 20% of your prospects use iPhones and 30% use Blackberrys this month, in six months these numbers could be switched - or you could just as easily find that Android, or Windows Phone 7, has suddenly taken the lead.

The only winning strategy is flexibility. Your mobile web presence, when built on Mobile Web Up's technology, is capable of changing as mobile technology evolves, keeping your mobile web presence at the cutting edge. And further, this is all completely automatic from your perspective. Your mobile design will be effective not just this quarter, but in the months and years to come.

The charts here show recent past, current and future-projected numbers. (Click to see full-sized versions.) Note the large variety and amorphous nature of the distribution. Not explicit in this accounting is the differentiation within each platform. For example, there are currently over 100 Android phone models in current use, with significant differences among them; this total is likely to exceed 300 by the end of 2012.

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Data Sources