A recent TechCrunch article about YouTube’s new mobile site highlighted a largely silent but growing battle brewing between native apps and Web apps in the world of mobile. The iPhone has famously re-invigorated the (mini-) application market, but HTML5 (which Apple also endorses) is enabling increasingly rich, Web-only experiences.
Many of the differences in features, formats and content offered by native vs. Web apps are currently lost on most users, but the looming battle on the backend will absolutely impact who thrives and who withers in the software, advertising and device world.
In the earliest days of this contest, marketers will be forced to choose where to make investments. Should they develop native iPhone and Android apps? Or is it better to invest and create mobile-aware websites? As the battle plays out, however, marketers will ultimately be agnostic because the marketing technology platforms they use will most certainly support every kind of channel and platform. This will allow marketers to focus on content and customers so they can make the most of their unique resources and knowledge.