Msg#: 4078509 posted 3:26 pm on Feb 13, 2010 (gmt 0)
What do the .mobi stats tell you, jmcc? Does .mobi need a mobility scooter?
Well it looks like .mobi is going through a second order Junk Dump (landrush anniversary drop) at the moment but all the third choice gTLDs are having a tough time. Afilias also runs .info and it has outperformed all the other gTLDs but it has a highly cyclical growth pattern due to the special offers. All new TLDs depend on a high level of brand protection registration but .mobi was quite innovative in that it brought domaining into the marketing of the TLD. However domaining alone is not enough to keep a TLD viable - there has to be development. The .mobi registry was aware of this and created the tools for development. I saw a few people saying that .mobi should not have done this as it affected the growth of other website converter/directory style companies. They were wrong and mTLD was right. A new gTLD registry has to support development and drive it if necessary. Since .mobi was a completely new idea (a device specific TLD), new users needed that kind of handholding.
The IDN move by mTLD was interesting and apparently other IDN launches are planned. I think that the IDN market is vastly overrated in the short term as it may take another few years for it to be seriously viable. The IDNs and ccTLDs are a natural fit and it is this pairing that .mobi would find it hard to break. But the Chinese IDN venture boosted .mobi's domain count by about 80K domains. The .mobi was always going to find it hard going in the America/European regions because of the rush to new technology (smaller devices providing a good rendering of webpages) and in Europe's case, fast growing ccTLDs. Where .mobi has a potentially good market is in the developing nations where broadband connectivity is not common and where the local ccTLD is not yet a major player. But with Afilas behind it, .mobi may become a serious player but it will take a while to get to the .info level of registrations.