A long time ago (well about 4 years) a big shot in the mobile world said to me: “Downloading applications just won’t work in my opinion”. He could have said “sonny” at the end just to make me feel bad.
At the time I was hawking my J2ME apps about and the world was full of “it will always be the browser blah blah blah”. A few sensible people like Tom Hume spoke out, but most banged on and on and in particular bitched about J2ME as it if was the only language that was ever going to appear on a handset.
Time has passed of course and a combination of the iPhone, totally loony pricing of data and poverty stricken browsers means that apps are back in vogue.
The browser zelots may return of course as more facilities are exposed to the browser - see the new Palm Pre for instance. Hopefully though we have put the browser only charlies back in the box. We will always needs localised apps in mobile, just like we do on the Desktop. Next time bloody iTunes or Adobe Reader offers you an update please make a note of this. … . .sigh.