Posted by: Olga Kharif on May 28, 2008
Mobile Internet is viewed as the next big thing in wireless today. Lots of start-ups are getting funded, lots of new mobile Web companies are opening up. And yet, Web entrepreneur Joi Ito just posted a blog questioning whether it will be possible for entrepreneurs to make money off of the mobile Web.
He makes a really good point: “Although all of us are experimenting with advertising and advertising is increasing on mobile, the overwhelming percentage of money spent on mobile devices goes to paying for and the collection of payments for a small number of not so innovative products from a small number of providers.” Basically, he says, mobile Web revenues will flow to the operators — and not to innovative start-ups.
I am not sure that I agree. Service providers are opening up (albeit slowly) their networks to outside Web sites. Consumers increasingly demand access to the whole Web, and not just a portion of it that their carriers have chosen to make available. So, it seems to me, start-ups have nearly as much of a chance to make money off of the mobile Web as they do on the PC Web. Do you agree?