Dare Obasanjo drudges up an old post by Russel Beattie in which he declared the mobile web was dead (while coincidentally announcing the death of his mobile web based startup). Mr Obasanjo goes on to say he now agrees with that sentiment...
I recently switched to using Skyfire as my primary browser on my mobile phone and it has made a world of difference in how a use my phone. No longer am I restricted to crippled versions of popular sites nor do I have to lose features when I visit the regular versions of the page. I can view the real version of my news feed on Facebook. Vote up links in reddit or Digg. And reading blogs is no longer an exercise in frustration due to CSS issues or problems rendering widgets. Unsurprisingly my usage of the Web on my phone has pretty much doubled.
This definitely brings to the forefront how ridiculous of an idea it was to think that we need a "mobile Web" complete with its own top level domain (.mobi). Which makes more sense, that every Web site in the world should create duplicate versions of their pages for mobile phones and regular browsers or that software + hardware would eventually evolve to the point where I can run a full fledged browser on the device in my pocket?
While I'm glad Mr. Obasanjo has finally joined the ranks of the "fully featured browser" set I, as someone whose used an iPhone for over a year now, think his opinion is short sighted.
Yes it's great to have a fully featured browser in my phone and Yes I use my phone as a data device more than I ever have in the past. But having said that I tend to gravitate towards sites that have been specifically designed for the iPhone.
I'll use a regular site when I have to but having 5 steps (double click, pinch larger, move to left, pinch slightly smaller, scroll) just to get my web content readable is not a great user experience. I encourage anyone who disagrees with this to compare using www.weather.com to www.weather.com/iphone There's just no question about it: A customized mobile UI makes a huge difference.
Which is exactly why the Mobile Web isn't dead. In fact, it's stronger than ever because now it's a competitive advantage in a rapidly expanding market (users who use their phones for data).