World Mobile Conference- The Year of the Browser

The number one thing that jumped out at me during the conference was Google’s report that there are 50x more searches originating from the iPhone than any other mobile handset.

Just to put that in perspective there are 4 million iPhones in the wild compared to 3 billion other mobile devices. This goes hand in hand with O2’s report that 60% of U.K. iPhone users are sending or receiving more than 25 MB of data a month- which is unheard of on other handsets.

Android was only available on a few booths- AMD, Qualcomm, etc. From the demo I saw, it’s clear that Android will offer iPhone-like touchscreen functionality along with a tightly bundled suite of Google Apps and browser. It’s important to highlight that Android is using WebKit- the same as Safari on the iPhone (and Mac OS X desktop).

Opera was demoing their latest 9.5 release- showing off Opera Desktop, Opera Mini, Opera Mobile and Opera Wii. They’ve created a browser for many, many other non-handset devices (Wii, Airplanes, Archos, etc.) They allow users to sync their profile, bookmarks, widgets, etc across all devices. (This is the exact same functionality that Apple should be offering.)

I didn’t see Mozilla, but Firefox is coming soon.

Great browsers, combined with device specific site optimization (e.g. iPhone) or server-side optimization (e.g. Novarra) mean 2008 could finally be the Year of the Browser on mobiles.


  1. Hi Jason. I just moved to London from Silicon Valley about 4 weeks ago to do a MBA and I found your blog because I was trying to learn more about the VC industry here. I am trying to orient myself here in regards to VC industry and was wondering if you could help me? In the Valley, I did a internship at a VC and met several VCs that way, and then through social events.

    I am wondering if there are groups in london geared towards VCs, conferences and social events, lunch2.0 events, a hub of some sort, new sources? maybe a version of ventureloop, venturebeat, or techcrunch, a place for entrepreneurs and VCs, etc? I know in the VC business, it’s a lot of referrals and relationships, and currently I don’t know anyone. Thanks very much.

  2. @jim The first thing I thought when I saw the stat was: “Wow, Apple must be making a few pretty pennies from that.” I would think that it’s an apples for apples comparison because Google will be paying elsewhere as well.

    I can tell you from personal experience that I ran 1-2 searches per month on other devices and now search frequently on the iPhone. It’s no 50x more, but definitely on a regular basis.

  3. @taige

    There’s a good collection of things to do, and it’s a fair point you’ve raised. I posted “things to do and see” in London a year or two ago. I’ll update the list and post separately tonight…

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