iPhone Application vs. Web site (formatted for mobile devices)

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by rdy4trvl, Aug 7, 2008.

  1. rdy4trvl macrumors newbie

    Aug 7, 2008
    Old story - non-techie has business idea but needs direction...
    We have a service that would certainly lend itself to the mobile market - it assists consumers in stores select a specific product (I'd disclose the idea but it just might be good....even though we don't have a way to monetize it yet! - ever heard that before??). The key question is: do we create a iPhone application or a web site accessible to all mobile devices?

    Advantages+/Disadvantages- of an iPhone Application (vs. web site):
    + Apple provide great exposure
    + The actual program is relatively simple, display is simple, small (will work on any mobile device...but obviously, the iPhone has more real estate to work with
    + There would be some minor costs associated with a web site - hosting, etc
    - Possibly easier to find a web designer/programmer than an iPhone programmer??
    - A mobile web site would be accessible to more users (if we can successfully promote it)
    - It will have a data base of 4000 records or products (x 6 fields....I suspect the iPhone can handle that....but maybe not?)
    - Ultimately, even if we went iPhone route, we would want a web page (mobile formatting)
    - Cell service will be available from the locations a user would want to access the web site (i.e. no advantage to an iPhone application here)
    ? Unfortunately, there's really no user networking opportunity to build
    ? The data will remain fairly constant ...but about 10% (of the 4000 products) will change after a year...so it's still fairly usable for about 12-18 months w/o updating (slight advantage to a web site)

    Any other key considerations in trying to determine if we go iPhone or web site formatted for mobile use?
  2. nickspohn macrumors 68040


    Jun 9, 2007
    If you are afraid to say what it is, then it must mean you don't have it patented yet. You should try working on that stuff before pursuing this.

    As for as the app vs web site, you need to do BOTH. What will it hurt? If it's that popular, you should have both.
  3. trunksu macrumors 6502

    Feb 21, 2008
    nick is right and you should do both. still lots of crackberries out there. :p go look at loopT etc. app for the iphone and they took full advantage of the iPhone. But on their website they support all kinds of phones through generic ways etc.
  4. robhedin macrumors regular

    Dec 14, 2006
    Your data requirements are trivial, the iPhone can handle it no problem (4000 records x 6 fields x 50 characters per field = 1.2 megabytes of data, not counting indexes or overhead-- some games have 10s of megabytes of graphics alone).

    Points to ponder--

    1. the iPhone market, while growing, is still relatively small-- the iPhone 3G sold over 1 million phones in 3 days, but (if I remember correctly) Nokia alone sells over 150 million phones a year.

    2. the browsers on many phones are not as capable as that on the iPhone, so using a web platform may have some issues. Of course, chances are if your customers are savvy enough to understand that they can go to the web page in the first place, then it's not unlikely that they will have a reasonably capable phone.

    3. Don't assume that just because there is cell phone coverage that the data cellular network is actually usable. For example, I can go into the middle of my local Walmart and in the middle of the store will lose signal. Even if i have signal, the speed may not be suitable for actual work.

    Personal opinion as a developer- if you don't need to take advantage of the unique features of the device or having the information be available in an off-line capacity, then you're probably better off going the web application route first and then evaluating, based on actual usage statistics if it's worthwhile to build a dedicated application for either the iPhone or Windows Mobile or whatever.

  5. rdy4trvl thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 7, 2008
    Excellent points to ponder....Thanks!!


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