Application platforms on low spec phones

So what’s a low specification phone? Say something with less than an Arm9 with less than 50 megs of memory to play with.

Lets not kid ourselves, most of the world use low spec mobiles. I’ve thought about how the Web application platform will be delivered on such devices in “developing countries”: over a long period of time.

I predict most people in the world will only have a usable Web environment on their mobiles in about 20 years. So roughly 2030.

However some people can’t wait that long. So lets say we stripped WebKit to it’s core HTML rendering capabilities. No Javascript engine, etc. etc. A colleague says that might work on a low specification device (32meg) with a lot of work. Is it worth the work though?

I don’t think so, because there are stats out there to say that most low spec phone users aren’t really interested in applications. Secondly and probably most importantly lets not forget these people are probably not on any sort of cost effective data plan! Thirdly the interactive and more efficient Web requires Javascript capabilities.

So how are low spec mobile users going to be offered services? I imagine via voice services will bridge the gap like they are doing currently now for the developed world. Here in the “developed world” we have call centres and over time most people will migrate to better services offered via the Web application platform.

So please be patient, the future of the Web on mobile for the masses will be slow, evolutionary and I’m fine with that.

Let me know your opinion if it differs. :)

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