July 22, 2008

Commercial Mobile Browser Market to Continue Strong Growth, Despite Increased Interest in Open-Source Mobile Browsers, Says ABI Research

As consumers increasingly surf the Web on their mobile phones, handset vendors are looking toward open-source browsers such as WebKit - the browser engine at the heart of the iPhone's Safari browser - as a way to bring it to them. However, despite growing interest in WebKit and Gecko (the engine for the Mozilla Corporation Firefox browser), commercial browser vendors such as Opera and ACCESS continue to see growth in their businesses. According to ABI Research, overall growth in the mobile browser category will lead to a total pre-installed revenue of $492 million by 2013, driven by the trends of more complex HTML-based browser integration.

"Device manufacturers are interested in open-source solutions where there is a desire for increased control of their software footprint, and where they can bring internal programming resources to bear," says research director Michael Wolf. "At the same time, vendors such as Opera are seeing strong growth in their mobile browser offerings, which provide the ability to access Web pages with advanced features such as zoom, bookmark syncing, and landscape mode, while also permitting handset vendors and operators to focus development resources elsewhere."

Open-source offerings such as WebKit are experiencing adoption by vendors such as Apple, Nokia, and others. Google made WebKit its core browser and Web-rendering engine for the Android platform; and application framework vendors such as Trolltech have integrated WebKit into their development framework. Mozilla also continues to develop its version of mobile Firefox, and Nokia has integrated a Gecko-based browser on its N800 Internet tablet.

"The mobile browser market continues to be dynamic as hardware vendors embrace a variety of options for their family of devices to best meet their business, technology, and partner requirements," continues Wolf. "ABI Research expects the larger trend to place emphasis on closing the gap between the experience of the Web on a mobile phone and that of a PC, while focusing on technologies such as content adaptation that optimize experience for the mobile screen."

ABI Research's recent study The Mobile Browser Market (http://www.abiresearch.com/products/market_research/MCCS) analyzes the market for mobile browsing, examining primary commercial offerings from independent browser vendors and evaluating the growing importance of open-source solutions such as WebKit.

It forms part of three ABI Research Services: Consumer Mobility (http://www.abiresearch.com/products/service/Consumer_Mobility _Research_Service), Mobile Content (http://www.abiresearch.com/ products/service/Mobile_Content_Research_Service), and Mobile Devices (http://www.abiresearch.com/products/service/Mobile_Devices _Research_Service). (Due to their length, these URLs may need to be copied/pasted into your Internet browser's address field. Remove the extra space if one exists.)

ABI Research is a leading market research firm focused on the impact of emerging technologies on global consumer and business markets. Utilizing a unique blend of market intelligence, primary research, and expert assessment from its worldwide team of industry analysts, ABI Research assists hundreds of clients each year with their strategic growth initiatives. For information, visit www.abiresearch.com, or call +1.516.624.2500.