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Mobile Apps or Mobile Sites?

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01 October 2010


We continue our rotating Startupbootcamp blog series - our ten teams take turns sharing their thoughts and experiences on their Startupbootcamp adventure.

This entry is by Ciprian Borodescu from WebCrumbz.net




Want to go Mobile?

Let us say you have a company with a great website and you want to have mobile web presence as well. What are your options to go mobile? Do you go for a native app based approach or the web based approach?

Right now there are more than 250,000 iPhone apps in almost every category: games, lifestyle, social networking, education etc. But is that an argument for producing an app rather than a mobile site? Before you decide you need to think about your target audience and distribution.

Clash of the Titans

Yesterday, at the GigaOM Mobilize 2010 conference in San Francisco, a great panel of experts confronted each other in a death match between native and mobile web apps supporters. I watched the discussion and it was like the "Clash of the Titans". Adam Blum - CEO of Rhomobile, Michael Mullany - vice president of products and marketing for Sencha, Ilja Laurs - founder and CEO of app store GetJar, Jay Sullivan - vice president of products for Mozilla and Krisha Vedati - senior vice president and GM of mobile for AT&T Interactive went head to head.

Even if the discussion was a little bit technical, it is safe to say that native apps continue to enjoy an edge on native. To a large extend because they have better distribution channels through established app stores and don't rely on networks. The mobile sites are indeed appropriate for certain cases where companies want users to find them faster through mobile searchers and access them directly through mobile browsers, while not being constrained to develop a different app for each mobile device. Of course, it's also a matter of maximizing cost efficiency and decreasing support costs.

Who Will Win the Fight?

Browsers like Mozilla's Firefox are increasingly getting access to control hardware components like GPS and cameras, making a wealth of apps possible through a browser. So the Web is evolving rapidly with the help of CSS3 and HTML5 and in fact, according to "The State of the Mobile Touch Web" report on Taptu.com, the touch-friendly web will have an estimated 1.1 million sites by the end of 2010.

We have seen companies from different business categories such as shopping, services (restaurants, hotels, etc.), entertainment, technology, news, sports, men's interests, women's interests and others, launch their mobile websites and experience traffic growth rates as high as 30%.

So, although the native apps are still out there and will be for years to come, the mobile web is growing fast and what we are doing now is to focus our attention on providing small and medium companies with easy to use tools for building and publishing mobile websites within minutes. Our goal is to offer a platform that is as easy to use as signing up for an e-mail account or shopping online.

We invite you to register for free to our beta platform. Tell us about your needs and let us provide you with the best tools for building and publishing the perfect mobile website that can be accessed by your users on the go.

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