It is every mobile apps developers dream to “write once run everywhere”, the fragmented support for and limited APIs within HTML5 make this impossible. According to market research firm Strategy Analytics, the more feature-rich nature of native apps (written in the C/C++ programming language) as opposed to HTML5 apps (written in the newest form of HyperText Markup Language from the W3C) will continue to relegate the latter as a niche technology and will pose no significant challenge to native mobile apps. The conclusion is that the prominence of native apps will further strengthen the dominance of iOS, Android, and increasingly Windows Phone.
While HTML5 is unable to deliver performance levels for services or interactivity at the level of native (C / C++ coded) games in iPhone anytime in the near future, it can drive the larger interactive display market. We believe the advent of video within HTML5 will ignite content on mobile devices (smartphones and tablets), but perhaps strategically more importantly, it will be a key driver and differentiator in the smart display market.
HTML5 allows companies across the value chain from content creators and developers through to TV manufacturers to finally have an opportunity to differentiate themselves beyond the hardware casing or pixel densities of displays. As we witness the entire industry moving to the next-generation displays, Retina, AMOLED, Oxide, etc, we remind readers that true differentiation comes from content and services, which have become video-based and also interactive.
With more than half of the consumer browser market using HTML5 browsers and the recent alignment of the industry around video support on MPEG4 (H.264) in HTML5, we believe hardware vendors will focus their development efforts on this area. Medium term, HTML5 should become a catalyst to drive both tablets and smart TVs and should also increase the integration of interactive graphics and video across the larger Internet. Co-existence of Native Mobile Apps and HTML5 technologies is the way forward, we think.