Markets usually are a ying and yang. Everyone is trying to maximize profit, and a certain give and take is always evident. For instance, internet access. In the US , consumer network providers initially tried to charge per access device. Consumers responded with routers that hid multiple devices, saving them money. Now providers are trying to take the high profit ground with bandwidth limits.
So it didn’t surprise me on a recent trip when my hotel limited my Internet access to one concurrent device. Unfortunately I was carrying three. I had to make a choice. Is it laptop, iPhone, iPad? I chose iPad. Why? keyboard use was bearable, and mostly – especially on the road – all I want is access. I was a content browser, with minimal content creation. Worked well for five days, especially if I went into the office and used my laptop to do some of the more keyboard heavy work. But, at most, that was an hour a day.
That experience wll translate to the broader consumer. It will translate in new device sales, and it will translate with site refreshes. Will traditional HTML based websites targeted toward the desktop experience become the backwater of the online experience? I think so. We are already seeing development dollars ( a limited source) moving from traditional websites to mobile-enabled websites. The rush is on.
It’s not only a consumer phenomena. It’s an enterprise systems phenomena; just as text-based screens are archaic, so will html-based screens that are not optimized for a mobile device, typically a tablet. They will certainly suffer from maintenance/updates – deteriorating into irrelevance.
My conclusion? Mobile devices will rule, especially tablets. PC/laptops will still be there – but specialized, and a much smaller piece of the device pie.