Mobile users not using Mobile Internet

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Thumbs DownResearch from web-hosting company Hostway points to a sad but unsurprising trend among mobile users. Hostway reports that 73% of smartphone and PDA users with internet capable phones are not surfing the mobile web. The major reasons given? 38% attributed disinterest to slow-loading pages, 27% cited navigation problems and 25% complained of some websites being completely unavailable to mobiles.

“At the moment, most websites just aren’t flexible enough to be accessed on mobile phones,” said Neil Barton, a director at Hostway. “There’s nothing wrong with having a flash website with all the bells and whistles you can muster, but you’ve got to be aware that mobile users simply aren’t going to be able to access it.

BlackBerry Cool thinks three things need to happen before we see the mobile internet catch on:

– 3G needs to become widespread in North America.
– Companies need to start offering versions of their websites specifically designed around a mobile user’s unique needs.
– Handset screens need to get larger and (more importantly) wider to make web browsing easer.

Until these things happen, we’ll keep seeing reports similar to the one from Hostway.

  • http://www.hyperpowered.com/ Stac

    I’m not sure this ‘trend’ takes into account worldwide statistics. I read recently that the MAJORITY of Japanese users use their handheld device as their PRIMARY web browsing platform. Europe wasn’t that far behind in that respect… as far as the US? It sounds like these stats were for US users.

    IT’s relatively trivial for webmasters to produce ‘lite’ sites depending on the agent the client is using… I’m surprised that more sites don’t use this technique to deliver content to mobile devices. I certainly patronize those that do…

    -Stac

  • http://www.hyperpowered.com Stac

    I’m not sure this ‘trend’ takes into account worldwide statistics. I read recently that the MAJORITY of Japanese users use their handheld device as their PRIMARY web browsing platform. Europe wasn’t that far behind in that respect… as far as the US? It sounds like these stats were for US users.

    IT’s relatively trivial for webmasters to produce ‘lite’ sites depending on the agent the client is using… I’m surprised that more sites don’t use this technique to deliver content to mobile devices. I certainly patronize those that do…

    -Stac

  • admin

    As a TREO user who works for a company of mostly blackberry users I actually use my mobile browser quite often and most of the time it is great – except when using canada411.com (useless). My perception, especially from the blackberry vs. Treo/other devices side is that the bb browser experience is baaaaaad. Get a better browser, more people will use it.

  • admin

    As a TREO user who works for a company of mostly blackberry users I actually use my mobile browser quite often and most of the time it is great – except when using canada411.com (useless). My perception, especially from the blackberry vs. Treo/other devices side is that the bb browser experience is baaaaaad. Get a better browser, more people will use it.

  • thought

    I totally agree with the 3 points. Especially on companies creating websites optimized for mobile screens. There is almost no way that most sites optimized for a home PC screen can work very well on a mobile screen. For me, the sites I like to use the most have mobile versions available.

    As to the fact that Japanese and European users do use their mobile platforms more for web browsing: most reports I’ve read on this attribute this to the fact that in these countries use of a personal computer at home is less. In the US, users look to the mobile phone less for web browsing, because they use their PC to satisfy their web browsing needs.

  • thought

    I totally agree with the 3 points. Especially on companies creating websites optimized for mobile screens. There is almost no way that most sites optimized for a home PC screen can work very well on a mobile screen. For me, the sites I like to use the most have mobile versions available.

    As to the fact that Japanese and European users do use their mobile platforms more for web browsing: most reports I’ve read on this attribute this to the fact that in these countries use of a personal computer at home is less. In the US, users look to the mobile phone less for web browsing, because they use their PC to satisfy their web browsing needs.

  • http://eSchulte.com/ Mark

    Is there a mobile search engine that will only show you results that are mobile enabled sites?

    Users at my company are wasting time browsing sites that aren’t mobile sites.

    If they had something like a list of the Top 10 mobile sites I think that would help increase usage of the mobile internet.

  • http://eSchulte.com Mark

    Is there a mobile search engine that will only show you results that are mobile enabled sites?

    Users at my company are wasting time browsing sites that aren’t mobile sites.

    If they had something like a list of the Top 10 mobile sites I think that would help increase usage of the mobile internet.