I’ve written about the FT’s excellent HTML5 web app previously here.
After a concerted effort by FT to get its subscribers to switch from their native ipad/iphone apps to the paper’s HTML5 web app, they have now pulled those native subscription apps from the App Store. Bravo!
While this approach won’t work for all content owners, it clearly sets the stage for others to follow suit. Those publishers that own – and want to continue to own – direct subscriber relationships, can provision HTML5 web apps that deliver an excellent customer experience directly via their desktop and mobile websites. No percentage paid to Apple, more fluid development/upgrades, no review process and all the customer data a publisher typically enjoys.
I can’t be sure how many subs the FT has via the HTML5 web app. PaidContent and Mediapost both speculate in recent coverage, but I can’t glean a clear answer (please help me out if you can). The FT decision to pull the apps from the store certainly suggests they are happy with the numbers and how they are trending.
It will be interesting to see which publishers follow FT’s lead here. The NYTimes has a great Chrome web app and others are working away on HTML5 executions of one kind or another. Apps are not going away, but I predict HTML5 web apps will be a priority for many over the next twelve months.
U.S. iPad growth is staggering after only one year.
My friend and mobile media veteran, Trevor Hamilton at Velti, shared some iPad stats with me from Apple Insider about web browsing on various smartphone and tablet platforms. Yes, I guess we ARE mobile geeks if we are sharing iPad market stats over breakfast.
When combined, iOS accounts for a whopping 60.7 percent of U.S. mobile browsing. That’s almost twice that of Android. Blackberry accounts for 6.9 % while Symbian, Windows Mobile and webOS combine for less than a half a percent.
The implications for publishers and advertisers is obvious. This is iPad and iPhone Safari web browser traffic, not applications. If you’re not optimizing content, advertising and existing infrastructure for these iPad, iPhone and other mobile devices, you are missing an immediate opportunity and ensuring you’ll have to play catch up as it continues to scale. Will it continue to grow?
How will iPad scale?
Apple Insider provides additional compelling stats: Apple has already sold more than 25 million iPads in just the first 14 months. They go on to quote analyst Gene Munster with Piper Jaffray, who put the numbers even more in perspective, determining that Apple is selling about 87,000 iPads per day.
And how does mobile browser usage compare to app usage? Here’s some data from Comscore that has mobile browsing in a slight lead.
Get busy, people! If you’re on the sidelines and ignoring iPad, iPhone and other mobile devices, you’re blowing it.
There are some interesting articles covering the launch of the beautiful new FT.com HTML5 web app. It looks and feels like a native iOS app and is a great view into the capabilities/possibilities of HTML5 for publishers….But it gets better: It caches content on the device and allows for a great offline experience. This has been the gating factor that has led many publishers to cling to native apps rather than web or mobile web. Go play with it and let me know what you think.
Naturally, there are great business reasons to consider this approach, too. For publishers with a thriving audience, there is no great reason to pay the subscription vig to apple. Publishers can better control their destiny when they aren’t dependent on apple.
Finally, we’re getting somewhere productive. Here’s a piece from MacRumors with some details.