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Mobile apps versus the mobile web

October 15th, 2010 by Talya

In the ongoing discussion about  everything mobile, it has been said off and on that the explosive growth of mobile apps will eventually kill the mobile web. While the numbers show that apps are very popular (one source reports that by 2015 over 25 billion mobile apps will have been downloaded – yes, that’s twenty-five billion), the death of the mobile web is most certainly not on the horizon.

Despite the huge volume of apps being downloaded, the mobile web browser is still the most widely used mobile application. A recent survey by Adobe polled over one thousand U.S. mobile device users, and the result was that 66% of users preferred the mobile web over mobile apps (Sarah Perez). A similar study by Orange in Europe showed that the findings across the pond are nearly the same. In both the UK and France, nearly 7 out of 10 users would rather access the mobile web than an app. The numbers are slightly lower in markets where the mobile industry is not as well established, such as in Spain and Poland. In these places, apps were (only) slightly more widely preferred than in what are considered the “more mature” mobile markets of countries like the UK, France, and Germany.

So even though some may believe that the mobile web may some day be dwarfed by beloved apps, the numbers seem to show us something else. Namely that the mobile web browser will continue to be king of the mobile online space, at least for the next long while.