iPhone and iPod Touch leading to huge increase in mobile web browsing

Two stories being reported today point to how Apple got it right with the iPhone/iPod Touch.

In the first story, coming out of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, EE Times is reporting that:

A blue-ribbon panel of human behavior and technology experts at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain agreed that the best recent advance in the mobile telecommunications user space came not from a mobile telecom company but from Apple Inc. — the iPhone.

Anup Murarka, director of technical marketing for Adobe, cited a study showing that 77 percent of iPhone purchasers described themselves as “very satisfied” with their user experience

Going even further than that, AppleInsider today published a story about how Google said it has seen

50 times more search requests coming from Apple iPhones than any other mobile handset — a revelation so astonishing that the company originally suspected it had made an error culling its own data

So despite the fact that the iPhone is only on sale in 4 countries and is significantly outsold by Nokia et al handsets, the vast majority to Google from mobile devides is from the iPhone.

Why is this? Because Apple made it easy to do. Not only that, they made it a fun experience (turn the device, the page reformats to the new orientation, two finger zoom, etc.).

The iPhone/iPod Touch user experience is so far ahead of anything the competition (Symbian, Windows Mobile) are producing that it will take them several years to catch up. If, in the meantime, Apple can add features like Bluetooth, and 3G and sign deals with more mobile operators they have a strong chance of becoming the dominant handset manufacturer as well as the dominant mp3 player.

8 thoughts on “iPhone and iPod Touch leading to huge increase in mobile web browsing”

  1. May I humbly request a revisit of this post in one years time so that you can acknowledge how wrong you just got it ? 😛 The iPhone from what I have seen appears to be quite an innovative device – but it has one huge drawback: its pricing and contract structure. Unless it becomes an awful lot cheaper it will run itself out of market. Early adopters never pay attention to the initial cost – but mass adoption is always about price.

  2. I don’t doubt the the iPhone is an expensive and innovative device but I can almost guarantee you the average (unlocked) iPhone user would get an awful shock if they used their mobile network contract (rather than wifi) for Google searches and general internet usage in Ireland. It is also worth noting that the Google stat make no distinction between wifi or mobile network based searches from iPhone devices. Lets not kid ourselves, ubiquitous free wifi access is non existent (as a Nokia N800 user of a few years that has tried lots of causal war driving I can attest to this) so I assume that either we have a lot of dumb average users using their iPhone via their mobile network (god help them) or fanboys spending a lot of time searching via wifi from home.

    To that end, I assert that the main thing holding back mobile internet usage are the mobile networks not the handsets, end of. Most Nokia or SE devices have more than capable mobile internet browsers, the problem is they are prohibitively expensive to use. It is highly probable that iPhone users are more than willing to pay the mobile network costs purely because they are vain enough to do so or are tech intensive to justify for paying for data plans. It is a huge stretch to assume that the average end user would do so – if that were the case WEP usage would have accelerated years ago.

    It’ll be interesting to see what the mobile networks make of this.

  3. @hostyle – I agree! When I was saying that Apple need to sign more contracts with mobile operators the only way they will do that, I think, is if they moderate the stringent conditions/pricing they are currently imposing.

    @John O’Shea – It is true that a lot of the browsing done on the iPhones is probably done via wifi but I have an N95 and before that an E65 and an E61 before that all of which have wifi and when I first used the wifi on my E61 I swore that I would never again buy a phone without wifi.

    I use the wifi on my phone for browsing far more than I use the mobile network so without more detailed data it is hard to draw conclusions. What is true though is that the iPhone is getting people more used to browsing on their mobile device.

    I agree absolutely that the extortionate prices we are being charged for mobile data are unsustainable. The mobile operators know this too and are trying to diversify their income streams to this end. However real drops in pricing are some way off yet unfortunately 😦

    The fact that the iPhone is making people more aware of the mobile internet can only help increase demand and drive down the price sooner rather than later I hope!

  4. I don’t think that the iPhone/iPod will make a revolution in mobile browsing; the other mobile devices. The Apple devices are unique in their design, but that doesn’t affect the use of the service I think

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