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To be honest I don't see how your developer saw it made sense to have the page loaded and then a further AJAX/JS request having to be made. It kind of defeats the advantages of AJAX and obviously the content not being immediately visible is a drawback.
a mobile/smartphone/app version of our website
My guess is google, knowing a searcher is using a smart phone, will favour a website if it is available in smart phone format, even if a full screen version with identical content exists elsewhere