Is mobile web popularity mainly about the best form factor at the time to access the web? I had a great discussion recently with a good friend who challenged me that consumers simply choose which sized device fits their needs at that time.
While I am convinced smartphone usage to connect to the web is heavily influenced by convenience I am less certain it is governed by a logic of size. If consumers selected a device based on size alone we would not see the huge volumes of video views on mobile, or the huge game playing or many of the apps aimed at smartphones.
Convienence when selecting a device to connect to the web is bound by "closest to you". I believe a big factor is answering the question, "do I have to get up". We are all lazy, tech frequently only assists our laziness.
If no device is at arms length I think the next factor is speed to reach the data mixed with the ability to "surf" and be social in the real world.
There are a few factors around speed, first switching on the device, then connecting to wifi and then locating the data.
Smartphones switch on (from standby, their normal state) über fast. They connect to wifi really quick too.
Then there is the fact that an app make web content highly convenient. An app wraps up the data into a very pretty package, so you don't even think about it being "online".
Given our connected life is now full of short focused visits to connected data the app and smartphone really solves the problem very well.
Often the screen size, or lack of sensible input controls like a full size keyboard or game pad are sacrifices we make over speed and convenience.
Form factor is sacrificed in the decision process to select a connected device- convenience trumps all!
Why else did I write this on my iPhone, in front of Jools Holland (TV show) on my lounge sofa?