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4/11/2008
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Mobile Browsing Set For Major Growth

ABI forecasts 700 million browsers shipped in 2013, compared with 76 million in 2007.

Mobile Web browsing is poised to grow from 76 million browsers delivered last year to nearly 700 million by 2013, according to a new study by ABI Research released Friday.

Many new smartphones come equipped with browsers, and some content providers understand that traveling users want to look at their sites from iPhones, BlackBerrys, and the like, the research house noted. But the two biggest variables that will spur mobile browsing are the advent of Ajax and delivery of RSS feeds.

Ajax, a combination of asynchronous JavaScript and XML, is used in application development to increase performance and improve interactivity between client and server.

"The focus today for mobile browser developers is to take advantage of the latest Web standards while also developing solutions tailored towards the unique experience of using a browser on a mobile phone," ABI's Michael Wolf said in a statement. "The most recent commercial solutions from Opera, Openwave, and Access, as well as those using open source solutions such as Webkit, are targeted towards allowing consumers to access content on the Web without limitations due to browser constraints."

Despite the strides made in mobile browsing in the last few years, there's still plenty of room for improving the overall experience, ABI noted.

"Web usage on mobile devices has a significant distance to go in closing the gap with PC-based browsers," according to ABI. "The absence of important plug-ins such as Flash on many handsets and the constraints of many phones compared to the PC mean that even browser vendors such as Skyfire continue to see a need for server-assisted architectures for transcoding and Web acceleration."

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