Mobile Comet: Where are the Statistics?

by Jose Maria ArranzDecember 23rd, 2008

I think Comet on mobile devices is going to revolutionize the web because it is going to give us ever connected real-time web applications.

In fact this future is already here:

  1. Today most mobile web browsers support Ajax, so they support long polling. Yes even including browsers with very poor JavaScript support like Pocket Internet Explorer 6 (Windows Mobile 6). Ajax is useful too, to deliver effective web applications on slow connections like GPRS.
  2. We have 3G-based devices and networks delivering several Mb/s
  3. The Internet on mobile devices is becoming cheaper because phone carriers are cutting prices and promoting flat rates.

One problem is there are too many capable mobile browsers out there; diversity in the mobile world is by far greater than the desktop. Another problem: we don’t have (public) statistics for mobile devices to decide whether a concrete mobile browser/device is worth supporting.

On the desktop we have an accurate view of browser usage, but this is not the same for mobile devices.

Where are some statistics of market share of mobile browsers?

4 Responses to “Mobile Comet: Where are the Statistics?”

  1. Jason Cline Says:

    AdMob releases statistics about the mobile devises they see while serving ads. While its not a scientific representation of mobile data usage as a whole it is at least a shot in the right direction.

    http://www.admob.com/s/solutions/metrics

  2. Jose Maria Arranz Says:

    Thanks Jason but I’ve already seen that paper. The problem is that it’s focused on devices not browsers.

    One example: Nokia. Nokia has three web browsers:

    1) The old browser still included in low end phones, JavaScript doesn’t work.
    2) S60WebKit and S40WebKit included on S60 and S40 6th devices
    3) FireFox, included in Internet Tablet devices (Linux-Maemo based).

    Another example: SonyEricsson

    1) The old browser present in old devices
    2) NetFront 3.3 and 3.4 in average phones.
    3) Opera Mobile in UIQ devices
    4) Internet Explorer etc in Windows Mobile devices.

    Versions are very important, for instance JavaScript in NetFront 3.3 is useless, in NetFront 3.4 is capable including Ajax…

    How can extract and group by browser this information from AdMob? It’s very very hard.

  3. Jose Maria Arranz Says:

    I’ve found a better link from AdMob about mobile browser statistics focused on browsers:

    http://www.admob.com/marketing/pdf/mobile_metrics_jul_08.pdf

  4. Jose Maria Arranz Says:

    Another link based on browsers:

    http://gs.statcounter.com/#mobile_browser-ww-daily-20080701-20090401

    Again not very useful for developers, for instance “Opera” is too vague, there is an abyss between Opera 8.x and Opera 9.x, “Nokia” what kind of browser is Nokia? the old and poor Nokia Browser? or the new WebKit based with Ajax (and Comet) support?

    Google Analytics ignores mobile browsers too.

    http://www.google.com/analytics/

    It seems the web world is ignoring what is doing the mobile world, the mobile web is already here and is underused because web developers still think in old fashioned browsers (and usually dead) like OpenWave or Obigo and so on.

    A call to arms: I offer myself to help web stats providers to identify the hell of mobile browsers, I have some experience with this subject.


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