Mobile Device Fragmentation and Proliferation

Mobile Device Fragmentation and Proliferation

By Ken Jones
When we started ScientiaMobile, we had the opportunity to talk to several wise people regarding the need for Device Intelligence. At the time in 2010, it seemed like Apps and Apple would take over the world. Their crystal ball predicted much more homogeneity of devices. And when people used their mobile devices, it would be through apps, not a browser.

Fast forward to 2016. The mobile web is very important. If you are not Facebook or one of the top 10 Apps, then most people will be interacting with you (at least initially) via a mobile web browser. Many ecommerce players have learned that mobile Web and Apps need to complement, not replace each other. But the mobile Web presents challenges. The different permutations of devices, OS, browsers make delivery of a successful cross-platform user experience difficult.

At ScientiaMobile, our job is to know every device with a browser on the planet. We provide this Device Intelligence to thousands of organizations trying to optimize, advertise, and analyze their mobile experience. In 2011, our WURFL solution tracked 15,000 device profiles. Now, we have almost 45,000. We call this trend device fragmentation, and it is accelerating.

Today, there are techniques like Responsive Web Design (RWD) to deal with mobile devices. However, to keep your site fast, your client-side code lean, and your images optimally sized, your best bet is to integrate server-side device intelligence solutions with RWD. This design paradigm is called RESS -Responsive Web Design with
Server Side detection. There are many resources (like this article in Smashing Magazine).

And if you want to stay on top of the trends in mobile device, the Mobile Overview Report (MOVR) visualization tool gives you power research tools.

visualization (12)

If you want to learn more about Device Intelligence and tools to manage device fragmentation, we would be glad to hear from you.