A number of competing sites in one sector I work in are slowly launching separate .mobi sites for their business.
They expect registered members of their own sites whilst out and about on the move to be visiting the .mobi version of their site and to be able to interact better as they offer a simpler text based version which is easier to navigate via a mobile device.
Now donít get me wrong, the idea of a separate .mobi site I find very attractive. In principle it sounds like a good idea, mobile phone access to the net is increasing so why not jump on board early and a site with easy text options for mobile users is a winner based on todayís technology?.
However, having got over the initial excitement of .mobi I am now thinking that it could be a complete waste of time and money. This is from the view point that mobile access to the web is still advancing and the fact that some mobile phone users can get through more of the latest phones a year than they do new pairs of pants! Hence, as the mobile device gets improved out with the old and in with the new very quickly.
It would be better, I would have thought to replicate an entire website exactly how it is on a mobile device and to improve the way that the mobile phone device navigates around a standard web page rather than adapting a website to fit what could soon be an out of date mobile device?.
Iím interested in other webmasters views on this as currently Im thinking of sitting back and waiting a while.
If every competitor builds a .mobi version of their site then so beit, but I just get the feeling that if / when mobiles website access and navigation gets improved no one will want to use a text type based .mobi site if they can reach the fully functioning 100% version of the site and navigate well on it anyway. Hence money and time invested now into .mobi could be a waste of time?.
I guess in conclusion its down to:-
A) Can a website as it stands ever be fully displayed on a mobile phone handset that offers full easy working navigation as good as it would if you had accessed the site from a home computer and
b) how long can we expect to wait before mobile devices are significantly enhanced (if possible) to offer this?