Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Apps Are Ascendant, but the Mobile Web Isn't Going Away

The mobile app ecosystem is really big, and growing really fast. And if you’re a start-up that specializes in serving up ads to apps, as Greystripe does, you should be in great shape.

So why is the company announcing that it’s no longer just focusing on mobile apps, but the mobile Web, too?

Because the mobile Web is also really big, says CEO Michael Chang. And while it’s been ignored a bit over the past few years, his bet is that publishers and advertisers will be looking at it with renewed enthusiasm.

One big reason to embrace mobile Web sites: In theory, publishers can build a single site instead of building separate apps for different phones and different operating systems. Another big one: Publishers have complete control of their own sites–no battling with Apple (AAPL) over app store approval.

This is what Google (GOOG) was getting at when it introduced a new YouTube mobile Web site this summer, designed to replace the dedicated app it had built for the iPhone and other handsets. The message: You don’t have to use apps if the browser works well.

Part of this is a business-model debate, and part of it is technical, and you’ll be hearing more about it for sometime. But the nice thing for consumers is that they can pretty much ignore it, because one way or another they’re getting cool stuff on their phones: It’s up to everyone else to figure out how it’s going to get there, and who’s going to foot the bill.

Here’s a chat I had with Chang about the topic, as well as other mobile news, like Apple’s recent peace offering to Adobe (ADBE) and Google’s AdMob.

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus