Earlier this week, Qualcomm announced a deal to make Opera Mini (a really slick, lean, fast mobile web browser) the default browser on its Â BREW MP platform for feature phones.
So a new slew of cheap handsets with much better browsers will be hitting the stores as early as this summer.
Over on the blog for House of Local (a media consultancy I work with), I wrote about why this is such a big deal:
See:Â Qualcomm, Opera deal means cheap phones will be doing LOTS more web surfing
And for the Knight Digital Media Center, I explained why news organizations should care about this development, and start taking lean mobile more seriously in their mobile and business strategy:
See:Â Qualcomm, Opera deal could dramatically boost mobile web audience
The point is: Do you want to get most of the mobile audience now? Or neglect that audience so much that they decide you’re not worth their time?
This year is the big opportunity for building mobile audience. Smart publishers should try to not get their heads stuck up their apps.
Last week, ComScore published its big annual Digital Year in Review statistics compilation for 2010. I covered this report for both CNN.com Tech and the Knight Digital Media Center. While the report covers many media, communications, and tech topics, I focused on what it had to say about mobile.
My key takeaways…
Say what you will about Yahoo, but I’ve always liked that they’ve generally realized the value of reaching out to feature phone users — who, according to ComScore’s latest numbers, still comprise three quarters of the current US mobile market.
For instance, Yahoo apparently has deals with many wireless carriers to have its mobile offerings listed in the default menu options for feature phone web browsers. This generates a lot of traffic to Yahoo News — and in turn, to lots of news sites.
Now they’re cooking up something else that should interest news and content publishers who are considering their mobile strategy.Â Today on the Knight Digital Media Center site, I wrote:
Yahoo to launch personalized mobile content platform
The bottom line for news orgs:
Feature phone users are especially likely to desire content personalization, given the difficulty of navigating and searching web sites from those devices. If this Yahoo platform makes that easier for consumers, and if Yahoo offers some fair revenue opportunities for news publishers, then a platform like this might be a useful complement to a news organizationâ€™s own direct mobile offerings.
Quote of the day from Scott Rosenberg:
The question is whether the Dailyâ€™s secession from the Web is a matter of convenience or ideology for its creators. Did they put their energy into spiffing things up for the iPad â€” the hard, fun, innovative part â€” figuring that they can circle back to beef up their Web offerings later? Or do they feel that it is their calling, their mission, to leave the Web behind?
My prediction: If theyâ€™re pragmatists about the Web, theyâ€™ve got a chance â€” they can adapt and evolve their product so itâ€™s a little more up to date, less hermetic and more inclusive of the public that lives online today. But if theyâ€™re ideologues â€” if they really believe that what is essentially a magazine â€œpasted on a screenâ€ is the future of journalism â€” then theyâ€™re in deep trouble, and the Daily will only be Murdochâ€™s latest and most spectacular digital money-sink.
via Murdochâ€™s Daily: post-Web innovation or CD-ROM flashback? â€” Scott Rosenberg’s Wordyard.