A big theme this year at the Mobile World Conference has been an emphasis on full-web capable mobile browsing, and for good reason. Not only is it key in the advancement of mobile devices, but also key in the development of mobile advertising.
In addition to Apple’s mobile Safari, Opera Mini, Skyfire, the upcoming Firefox for mobile and Microsoft’s new IE Mobile 6, Bitstream unveiled one of their own today in Barcelona. Dubbed “Bolt,” the new mobile browser will be available for any device sporting Java’s Mobile Information Device Profile, which is most phones offered by GSM carriers worldwide.
While Bolt is just another full-web capable browser like many others, it differs in the fact that it will be provided as a white-label solution for mobile carriers, meaning all capable phones sold via those carriers will have Bolt installed by default. Since Java’s MIDP platform is used on most so-called “feature phones,” or lower-end phones, it means Bolt will get into user’s hands that much faster.
In the end, the massive push to bring full-web capable browsing to all mobile devices- both low and high-end, will have a huge impact on the mobile content industry, and more important the mobile marketing industry. Breaking away from the normal WAP-based mode of web browsing, and the subsequent forms of mobile advertising needed for WAP will be a huge step in the right direction.
With so much focus on high-end smartphones like the iPhone and Android-based phones, we tend to forget that a majority of mobile users are still carrying around very simple devices with very simple mobile-browsing capabilities. Hopefully, 2009 will be the year low-end mobile devices benefit from new technologies high-end phones have had for years. When it does, the opportunities for mobile marketing will flourish even more.