Netbiscuits Report Highlights HTML5 Issue

No more than four out of the 17 standard HTML5 features are supported by the majority of the top-selling mobile devices. That’s one of the key findings of the latest Mobile Web Metrics Report from Netbiscuits, based on 8.5bn page and content item requests that more than 3,100 different kinds of mobile devices transfer via Netbiscuits every month.

Netbiscuits tested the HTML5 capabilities of top devices from seven different markets around the world. It found that of the 17 basic HTML5 features tested, only four (Offline Web Application Support; Geolocation API; 2D Animation Rendering; and Webstorage) are supported by a clear majority of the top 10 devices in N. America. The other 13 HTML5 features tested are only partly supported, or not supported at all, by top devices.

HTML5 adoption is worse in the UK, where not a single HTML5 feature is supported by a majority of the top 10 devices. Adoption rates in Germany, France, Spain and Singapore are similar to those in the N. America, whereas Australia has seen little to no HTML5 adoption.

“Clearly, the hype around HTML5, especially in the US does not match the adoption rate,” says Netbiscuits CEO, Michael Neidhoefer. “HTML5 is far from being the standard solution that mobile web and app developers are looking for when implementing rich UI features across multiple devices.”

Worldwide, more than 50 per cent of website requests via the Netbiscuits platform came from smartphones. In N. America, the figure was almost 80 per cent. In looking at overall smartphone traffic by operating system, Netbiscuits found that Android is still number one in N. America, while Apples iOS continues to lead the pack worldwide. Microsofts Windows Phone, whose share is minor at a global level, ranks fourth in N. America. RIMs BlackBerry OS share continues to slide in N. America, but is holding steady in Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and S. America.

“This report illustrates the need for brands, publishers and retailers to think beyond iPhone and Android when developing and executing a sustainable mobile strategy,” says Netbiscuits CEO, Michael Neidhoefer. “There is no one device of choice or golden operating system to focus on in the mobile marketplace. Its the continued fragmentation of devices and the lack of a standard for developing and delivering rich content that makes mobile a moving target.”

Netbiscuits says the problem of fragmentation in mobile is best illustrated by the proliferation of devices, based on traffic share. Between November 2009 and May 2011, an average of 2,872 devices requested mobile sites via Netbiscuits per month globally. From this number, only 2.5 devices achieved a traffic share of over 5 per cent, while an average of 2,869 unique devices accounted for the rest of the mobile web requests.

On average, 37 per cent of all site requests came from the dominating 2.5 devices between November 2009 and May 2011, while the device Long Tail generated an average of 63 per cent of site request in the same time period.

“Quite simply, this report proves that in order to reach the maximum number of customers, you must optimize your mobile web program for thousands of

devices, and not just 2.5,” Neidhoefer concludes. “This will ensure that you

provide the best possible mobile experience to your customers, no matter where they are, or what device they are using.”

You can download a free copy of the report here.