We’re starting to see announcements and significant changes in tech, most especially mobile, at an ever increasing pace. Two weeks ago, Facebook announced some big changes to their product and the expectation is that there will be more Facebook news coming this week, this time having to do with the much rumored project Spartan and an iPad app. This week will also see an announcement from Apple regarding the iPhone (or is it iPhones?). But last week was a big one too. Here are just a few things that happened in the last week
Kindle Fire Revealed
Amazon announced the Kindle Fire, a new Android-based 7 inch tablet that will be sold for an impressive $199. It’s aimed at making it incredibly easy to consume media and purchase products, both physical and virtual, from Amazon. It could be said that this is the next generation of Amazon shopping cart technology. All indications are that this is just the beginning for Amazon and there has been no shortage of speculation as to what Amazon will do next, from buying WebOS from HP to snapping up Netflix’s streaming business. One thing is for sure, Amazon is suddenly right smack in the middle of the device business with the potential to become a really big player.
iOS Dominates Web Traffic
Despite the fact that there are more Android devices out in the world than iOS devices, iOS continues to dominate Web traffic for mobile devices. According to data from Net Applications, iOS represented 54.65% of Web traffic to their client’s sites versus Android with a mere 16.26% of Web traffic. Why the discrepancy? It’s not entirely clear, but there seems to be mounting evidence that iOS owners use their devices for the Web and apps much more than Android users. Certainly there are a lot of low cost Android devices out there and those devices may not be connected to the Internet. They may instead be used as touch screen feature phones in many cases.
How Many Mobile Platforms? Three More Than There Were Before
The next big trend in mobile seems to be the proliferation of more platforms. Last week we saw the announcement of Tizen, a partnership between Intel and Samsung, and Meltemi, a feature phone OS from Nokia. Meltemi and Tizen are aimed at touch screen devices. It seems even the low-end of the market is looking for touch. Samsung has also been reviving it’s Bada OS and HTC is also rumored to be shopping for it’s own OS. Add to this the fact that Amazon just introduced what amounts to a new platform with Silk, the hybrid browser that will ship with the new Kindle Fire.
If you thought there was fragmentation before, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Hopefully, as we see a proliferation of mobile platforms, we will also see the vast majority of those platforms settle on WebKit as their browser of choice. In any case, this certainly lends a lot of credence to the choice to build mobile Web apps. How else can any one company expect to support so many platforms (see Future Friendly)?