Report: Don't Ignore Mobile Device 'Long Tail'
"The point is to keep being aware of the fact there are more web-enabled devices out there than only smart phones and tablet computers," says Farmer. "The best way to cover them is to use a multiplatform publishing solution ... that automatically takes care of all challenges that arise from a highly fragmented hard- and software environment, which 'mobile' definitely is and will keep being."
So how can a publisher adapt? Netbiscuits offers a few suggestions: provide a mobile solution that works on any device, hence "multiplatform"; check the reports for each site on a regular basis and if metrics show a certain device consistently generates a high share of page requests, consider tailoring apps specifically for this device, whether it be a gaming console or e-book reader.
The mix of devices varies strongly by market, by industry, and even over time as new devices are introduced into the market (the unveiling of the iPhone, for instance, inspired a whole new class of devices primarily optimized for Web access), which is why monitoring the metrics of a mobile website is key: Only then will it be clear which platform is the most worthwhile and profitable for developing an app.
Though the report reflects device usage trends only among sites hosted by Netbiscuits rather than the entire market, its findings indicate publishers should no longer ignore the long tail, says Michael Neidhoefer, CEO of Netbiscuits. To do so, he says, is to "intentionally lock out the majority of [their] potential users and limit the profitability of [their] mobile business."