Web browsing goes mobile

Posted by Aharon Etengoff

Browsing the Web on a PC is sooo 2009. Indeed, by 2015, at least 3.8 billion handsets will feature mobile web browsers.

According to senior ABI analyst Mark Beccue, web browsers for mobile devices are currently evolving along two distinct paths.

Internet browsing goes mobile"On the one hand, highly sophisticated browsers - which we are calling full Internet browsers - will be found in all smartphones and a growing number of enhanced (or feature) phones. Such devices can host these browsers because they have advanced application processors, expanded memory capacity and adequate screen size and resolution," Beccue told TG Daily.

"These full Internet browsers typically require about 64 Mb of memory to run. A real key to the growth of full Internet browsers in higher-end feature phones is the falling cost of sophisticated applications processors."

However, a second, more limited category of mobile browser is also gaining in popularity.

"A new family of browsers has [recently] emerged: the proxy-based (or client-server or compression) browser, which is epitomized by the Opera Mini.

"These browsers move some caching and processing off the phone to a nearby server, allowing the browser to run on lower-cost processors and requiring as little as 4 Mb of memory.

"That means these browsers can be used on even the lowest-cost phones. [Still], the installed base of full Internet browsers will exceed that of proxy-based browsers sometime in 2012."