Mobile Web: Hyped, But Not Used, For Now

The cellphone Internet experience has yet to attract frequent users
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 25, 2007 3:45 PM CST
Google CEO Eric Schmidt gestures during a talk in San Jose, Calif., in this Aug. 9, 2006 file photo. Confirming its long-rumored foray into the cell phone market, Google Inc. will give away a software...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The mobile web, or cellphone-based Internet, has been the focus of a lot of attention lately, whether its iPhone hysteria or buzz over handset hardware companies joining Google’s Open Handset Alliance. The New York Times reports that the hype hasn’t helped the existing mobile web do very well: only 13% of users surf the Internet via phone more than once a month.

By contrast, 70% of computer owners access websites every day. Analysts say the mobile web still suffers from a pay-as-you-surf model and poor adaptation of web content to the cellphone screen, but think that open-source development will smooth many wrinkles: “You got to have open systems, to allow the vast creativity of people to take place,” says one mobile software designer.