Browsers vs. apps: The role of apps in the mobile internet

Richard Ling, Dag Svanæs

Research output: Contribution to conference - NOT published in proceeding or journalPaperResearchpeer-review


The mobile phone has only recently started to be a terminal for internet use. While there has been a type of internet use via the mobile phone in Japan – in the form of iMode – this functionality has not really take off in other places until the rise of the smart phone. Why is this so? What has changed so dramatically so as to allow for this? The development of 3G and now 4G networks is one part of the equation. However, it is also important to think the way we access mobile internet and the way that apps side step the role of browsers.

Analysis of internet use via the mobile phone shows that users of smart phones are pushing mobile internet use forward. The people who have smart phones – and in particular Apple’s iPhone – are active mobile internet consumers. While there are very few of these people in the world, they are disproportionate in their use, and this often translates into revenues for operators. Part of this may be that they are simply more active users of communication services. The functionality of smart phones and the types of use are also another element in this equation. Another explanation is the development of apps as an alterative to the more traditional PC-based browser metaphor.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2011
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventInternet and Society: Challenges, Transformation and Development - University of Peking , Beijing, China
Duration: 28 May 201130 May 2011


ConferenceInternet and Society
LocationUniversity of Peking


  • Mobile Internet Usage
  • Smart Phones
  • iMode
  • 3G and 4G Networks
  • Apps vs Browsers


Dive into the research topics of 'Browsers vs. apps: The role of apps in the mobile internet'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this