… the general answer is that I don’t actually believe in the “Mobile Web” anymore, and therefore am less inclined to spend time and effort in a market I think is limited at best, and dying at worst.
According to AdMob metrics mobile web usage is far from dying. A trend you do see is that people who have internet enabled devices and all you can eat data plans are using the mobile web more and more. The main issue with current carriers is the confusing pricing for data plans. Do you know how much it would cost you browse the web?
I know for a fact that users with two inch screens regularly get online with their cell phones. There is a certain carrier, who we’ll call Carrier M, who bundles unlimited data with their plans but only offers very basic phones (no smartphones/iPhones). Customers of Carrier M make up a large amount of traffic on AdMob’s network disproportional to Carrier M’s market share.
I also believe that better browsers will eventually become the standard for mobile browsing. iPhone, Android, LiMo are all going to offer phones with WebKit. But at the same time there will still be mobile specific sites (see all the iPhone specific versions of webpages out there).
As for Russell’s rant, I just think he’s blowing off steam. I applaud anybody who takes the huge risk of trying to start their own company. I wish him the best of luck and hope he doesn’t give up on mobile.