Almost a month ago I wrote this article on Medium.com and I’d like to invite to go over it and let me know your thoughts. Here’s just an extract from it.
Over 1 Billion Mobile Devices Shipped in 2013
According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, vendors shipped a total of 1,004.2 millionsmartphones worldwide in 2013, up 38.4% from the 725.3 million units in 2012.
In addition to that, tablets will rise to break the 300 million unit mark in 2014 (combining tablet shipments of 263 million and shipments of “other ultramobiles” of 40 million units).
These two numbers are critical for understanding the driving force behind the third important trend: according to ComScore, mobile users will surpass desktop users in 2014.
There isn’t really too much to comment around these numbers, on their own, but, in connection with the impact they have on the Web, there’s a lot of speculation:
- Chris Dixon, the entrepreneur turned venture capitalist, says: “Mobile is the future. What wins mobile, wins the Internet. Right now, apps are winning and the web is losing.” However he also worries that: “Apps are heavily controlled by the dominant app stores owners, Apple and Google and they reject entire classes of apps without stated reasons or allowing for recourse (e.g. Apple has rejected all apps related to Bitcoin).”
- Marc Andreessen, who at 22 invented Mosaic, the first graphical web browser, and later cofounded Netscape, said in a Wired interview back in 2012:
“The application model of the future is the web application model … Mobile apps on platforms like iOS and Android are a temporary step along the way toward the full mobile web. Now, that temporary step may last for a very long time … But if you grant me the very big assumption that at some point we will have ubiquitous, high-speed wireless connectivity, then in time everything will end up back in the web model. Because the technology wants it to work that way.”
- Keith Rabois, who backed Yelp among many others, said, “nobody is going to be using the web soon” in a tweet
- Paul Stamatiou, a designer at Twitter and a startup veteran, tweeted last November: “How many yrs until native mobile apps as we know them don’t exist? 10? No more installing. Mobile browsers/OS will be different beasts then.”
It’s pretty clear that together with smartphones & tablets, apps are driving people’s interactions. Applying this to the Web translates into the need to escape the page view zone and think beyond responsive web design for all those 1 Billion web sites out there. There’s a new layer to be added to the mobile web, and that’s not only responsiveness, but “appness”.
If we admit that on mobile everything is about apps and considering the HTML5 adoption trend, then we could expect the Web to evolve into a new & exciting environment, where everything is an app instead of a site, where user’s interactions are more important than just views and, ultimately, where apps are interlinked into a Web … of apps.