For the past year, I’ve been working with clients who are itching for an iPhone app, but don’t yet have a dedicated mobile site. iPhone apps have great potential for engaging your current customers and building out your location based services. Before beginning development on an iPhone app, though, you need to ask “Should we focus on building out an iPhone app when we don’t yet have a mobile site built out? Do we have resources to do both at the same time?”
Why should you develop your mobile site before investing in an iPhone app?
1) Almost anyone with a mobile phone can access your mobile website whereas only iPhone users can access your iPhone App.
2) Mobile websites are easy to update whereas if you want to update an iPhone App, then the user has to download the Updates.
Essentially, updating an m.yoursite.com is a bit easier than updating your app and asking users to download the update.
3) As the smartphone market expands, are you then going to also launch multiple versions of your App?
Are you going to also create Apps for Palm, Blackberry, Android, etc.?
4) Social networking sites all have mobile websites and their traffic grows every single month.
(think m.twitter.com, m.facebook.com, m.youtube.com)
5) Text alert campaigns need mobile websites to be successful.
If you’re engaging customers via text messages, a mobile compatible site that loads quickly is absolutely essential