Mobile web: so close yet so far [The New York Times]

Mobile web
An article in the New York Times cites recent surveys challenging the notion that smartphones are ready for primetime:

Surveys by Yankee Group, a Boston research firm, show that only 13 percent of cellphone users in North America use their phones to surf the Web more than once a month, while 70 percent of computer users view Web sites every day.

“The user experience has been a disaster,” says Tony Davis, managing partner of Brightspark, a Toronto venture capital firm that has invested in two mobile Web companies.

While many phones have some form of Web access, most are hard to use — just finding a place to type in a Web address can be a challenge. And once you find it, most Web content doesn’t look very good on cellphone screens.

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  1. One of the major obstacles to the expansion of mobile internet is that most new users of mobile phones are in the poor countries – and who cannot read text (particularly if it is in an alien language). This is a challenge as well as opportunity for us to re-invent the internet itself based on non-textual cognition and information architecture.