Mobile browsers still not ready for HTML5

Netbiscuits latest report demonstrates that unfortunately HTML5 is far from being the answer to all the questions facing mobile web application developers today.

Cross-platform development business Netbiscuits has published a new edition of their free “Mobile Web Metrics Report”. The document provides up-to-date information on the HTML5 capabilities of top devices in the USA, the UK, Germany, Malaysia and Australia.

The report identifies a lack of support for HTML5 among the UK’s top handsets, revealing that out of 18 different HTML5 features tested, not one was fully supported by all top 15 devices in the UK market. “Even those features that are most widely discussed in the mobile industry today, such as Geolocation API, are still only implemented on 50 per cent of the top 15 devices in the UK,” says Netbiscuits UK managing director, Duncan Hallas. “As a consequence, we embrace HTML5 technology, but we do not solely rely on it to implement rich UX features across multiple mobile devices.”

In line with the results of previous reports published by Netbiscuits, the relevance of Long Tail mobile devices used for accessing the web is still unbroken. According to Netbiscuits more than 73% of mobile site requests in the UK and 71.6% in the US are from Long Tail devices.

UK Top 10 Devices Share
Apple/iPhone 3G, 3GS, 4 (Firmware ≥4.0) 11.37%
Apple/iPod Touch (Firmware 2.2-2.2.1) 6.23%
Blackberry/8520 (Gemini, Curve) 5.56%
Blackberry/9700 (Onyx, Bold 2) 5.23%
Apple/iPhone; 3G; 3GS (Firmware 2.2-3.2) 3.73%
Nokia/5800 (XpressMusic, 5802) 2.60%
SonyEricsson/W995 2.07%
Motorola/A855 V2.2 (A853, Droid, …) 2.06%
Samsung/GT-S5230 (Star, Ely, .) 1.92%
Blackberry/8900 (Curve) 1.85%

The report also looks at the smartphone operating systems of the devices accessing mobile sites and there are some big differences between the UK, US and Europe. “(the UK is) Different from other European markets, which are still clearly dominated by Apple iOS, the UK market shows four operating systems that are quite equally distributed among the smartphone segment” says Hallas. “Symbian still has the lead with 28.1%, followed by RIM (26.6%), Apple iOS (22.4%) and Google Android (20.4%).” This compares to the US where the figures are Android has the lead with 43.8%, Apple iOS (36.9%), followed by RIM (9.5%) and Microsoft (5.1%).