HTML5, Flash disrupt mobile app models

Nick Dillon/Ovum
10 Nov 2010
Support for HTML5 grows
The growth of HTML5 also poses a threat to the dominance of the mobile applications market, with the proportion of handsets with partial support increasing from 30% in 2Q10 to more than half in 3Q10. The final HTML5 specification is still to be agreed, but the high adoption rate of the interim features illustrates the high level of interest platform vendors have in the standard.
HTML5 is set to bring about an improved mobile Internet experience through enhanced rendering for smaller screens, and improved speed and offline functionality through the ability to store data locally on the device. Ovum’s mobile application developer survey found that developers are interested in any platform which gives them a cross-device reach, meaning that HTML5 is likely to be a popular with them. As a result, HTML5 poses a threat to the current dominance of platform-specific mobile development.
JIL support falters, but WAC merger may lead to renewed support
Despite some interest towards the beginning of the year, the number of handsets supporting JIL has actually dropped to just three in 3Q10. Vendors are instead focusing on their own proprietary web widget platforms, which are now present on 98% of smartphones.
However, following the merger of JIL with the Wholesale Applications Community (WAC) and the release of the WAC 1.0 specification, we expect to see renewed interest in the standard. A number of major handset vendors including Samsung, LG Electronics, Huawei, and ZTE are members of the WAC, making it likely that the standard will be supported on at least some of their handsets in the future. Ovum believes that WAC/JIL faces a number of challenges: most notably, proving that it has value for developers above and beyond the vendor-driven HTML5 implementations and the future HTML5 specification.


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