There’ll be 1.4 billion mobile devices with HTML5-compatible web browsers at the end of this year, according to a new forecast from ABI Research. That would represent an annual increase of 87%.
The company expects to see two trends: support for HTML5 features being embedded more deeply into operating systems, and hardware vendors increasing their support as well. As a result, the popularity of web-based applications is likely to start catching up with native stand-alone apps.
Aapo Markkanen, senior analyst at ABI Research, said “While some two years ago it still looked like 2013 could be the Year of Web App, it’s now looking like that this will prove more like the Year of Hybrid. HTML5 is making strides, but mainly through developers that take advantage of increasingly capable cross-platform development tools. Meanwhile, there aren’t many signs of full-blown web apps effectively challenging the native way.”
“There’s a lot of scope to achieve a more robust HTML5 support already in the chip level. Especially Intel has lately displayed strategic interest in pushing the envelope here. Also Samsung’s collaboration with Mozilla to develop a whole new browser engine, dubbed Servo, is worth following. A truly ground-up mobile browser could certainly ease the bottleneck that currently holds back the mobile web.”
[ABI Research Mobile Applications research service]