The received wisdom in the mobile industry is that continued browser evolution is making handsets capable delivering a "full Internet experience", like that on a broadband-connected PC.
I think that's over-stretching the capabilities. Yes, the iPhone renders a lot of web pages beautifully, but it's still not supporting things like Flash. And that's the absolute pinnacle of web-on-mobile. When you move down to the next tier, you get options like Webkit-on-Series 60. Which is a lot better than a few years ago, and can do a decent job of many websites, but which gets seriously thrown off-course by some of the newer and flashier ones.
My E71 consistently crashes when I try to use my new favourite travel-booking website, Kayak - there's no way I'd trust it all the way through to a transaction. It's got plenty of other annoying niggles as well, such as the switching between multiple windows. Plus it's still dependent on a whole range of network-side issues (and maybe handset software or memory problems too) like click-to-see time, that make web surfing a lot less pleasant and immediate than on a PC.
It'll be interesting to see what Google does with Chrome on mobile. And yes, there's all sorts of widgety goodness and Operatic performances that make the best of the small device.
But at the end of the day, they're all still "best efforts" approximations to the proper web, on a proper computer. I reckon Apple & a couple of others will start to trend asymptotically towards real "web" experience, but that will take a couple of years. And for that sort of performance to reach down to the midrange of handsets and beyond? I'll be surprised if we see a truly first-class browsing experience on a $50 handset (and its typical host network) before the middle of next decade.
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