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HTML5 vs. Apps: Why The Debate Matters, And Who Will Win

HTML5 is a new technology that allows developers to build rich web-based apps that run on any device via a standard web browser.   Many think it will save the web, rendering native platform-dependent apps obsolete.   So, which will win? Native apps or HTML5?   A recent report from BI Intelligence explains why we think HTML5 will win out, and what an HTML future will look like for consumers, developers, and brands.

Here’s why the Apps-vs-HTML5 debate matters:

  • Distribution: Native apps are distributed through app  stores and markets controlled by the owners of the platforms. HTML5 is  distributed through the rules of the open web: the link economy.
  • Monetization: Native apps come with one-click purchase  options built into mobile platforms. HTML5 apps will tend to be monetized more  through advertising, because payments will be less user-friendly.
  • Platform power and network effects: Developers have to  conform with Apple’s rules. Apple’s market share, meanwhile, creates network  effects and lock-in. If and when developers can build excellent iPhone and iPad functionality on  the web using HTML5, developers can cut Apple  out of the loop. This will reduce the network effects of Apple’s platform.
  • Functionality: Right now, native apps can do a lot  more than HTML5 apps. HTML5 apps will get better, but not as fast as some HTML5  advocates think.

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