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The last barriers to mainstream mobile web (Small Business E-commerce Link Digest – September 26, 2008)

Apart from the U.S. financial system melting down, the big news this week was all about mobile. Mashable thinks the Google G1 is a game-changer. We’re confident they’re right. For one thing, this is as close to a computer (as an extensible platform) we’ve seen in a phone so far. So, has Google’s G1 broken the last barrier? Will the mobile web explode next week? Probably not. But it’s not so far off for many folks, either. Here’s what has to happen:

  • First, bandwidth has to get cheaper. And that’s not likely to happen. Not right away, anyway. Judy Breck at Smart Mobs notes,

    “the spectacular increase of data use on smartphones — the industry’s “dream come true” — is creating a need to moderate consumer use”

  • Om Malik picks up the ball with insightful reasons why mobile networks cost more for less
  • Second, more applications have to appear. Customers increasingly use their phones for data access, music and other services. And some truly useful services are on the way. Things like mobile payment services from Billing Revolution, Zong, and Opobay. Never heard of them? That’s OK. Visa and Chase are testing mobile payment, too. Maybe you’ve heard of them. Once customers have easier ways to pay for things (like Amazon’s TextBuyIt), expect a big jump in adoption of the mobile web.
  • Other applications that may spur usage include mobile barcode readers within phones. But, as Frommer rightly points out,

    “Getting something like mobile barcodes to work requires buy-in from a lot of parties.”

  • Finally, we need mobile-friendly pages. David at mobiThinking.com offers suggestions on how to build them. Worth a look.

That’s it for this week folks. Hope your mattress is sufficiently lined with small bills as we wait out another week of Wall Street whiplash (or, better yet, large bills). But, as the saying goes, that which doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger. So, get strong. Get ready. And go get ’em.

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Tim Peter

Tim Peter is the founder and president of Tim Peter & Associates. You can learn more about our company's strategy and digital marketing consulting services here or about Tim here.

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