The market for open-Internet browsers will grow steeply over the next couple of years. ABI Research analysts predict this segment for mobiles will grow from 76 million in 2007 to nearly 700 million browsers in 2013:
"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," says research director Michael Wolf. "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."
Still, it's important to note that despite the best efforts of browser vendors and handset manufacturers, web usage on mobile devices has a significant distance to go in closing the gap with PC-based browsers. 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 OIB browser vendors such as Skyfire continue to see a need for server-assisted architectures for transcoding and web acceleration.