For many of our clients, visitors to corporate websites coming from mobile devices has doubled this year; more growth than any other channel. This growth is driven largely by iOS and Android devices.
We have had a lot of fun mobile projects this summer. With each project, we ponder if we should do an iPhone app, an Android app, or a mobile site targeting all Smartphone users? With the upcoming launch of Windows 7 mobile, there might be a 4th option to consider
Downloaded applications offer benefits with interactions and load times. Applications, residing on the users phone also have better repeat usage. I suppose you could even argue that having strong placement in a mobile app store is the best way to get traffic from mobile devices. But because there is no clear market share leader in the mobile world, choosing one platform means not addressing the needs of the masses.
However, a really strong mobile site has access to a much broader audience. Mobile sites have access to RIM (which currently has the highest market share in the US), iOS, Android, Windows Mobile, Palm, Symbian, etc. The mobile sites, in some cases, will load slower because the graphics and functions are not stored directly on the device. So we typically keep the designs very simple. Which is good because the mobile web is more for utility than it is for browsing and reading.