Consumers on the move will soon be able spot websites which have been specifically designed for mobile phones courtesy of the .mobi suffix.
The new suffix, which we originally picked up on back in March 2004 was approved by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), will join the popular “.com”, “.org” and of course “.info”, and other top-level domain names when it goes live in 2006.
The new domain name was requested by a heavyweight gang of mobile phone operators and handset makers who teamed up to create a joint venture tasked with encouraging companies and Web site designers to create mobile-specific Web pages.
The member companies include Hutchison 3G, GSM., Ericsson, Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung, Telefonica Moviles, T-Mobile and Vodafone.
The companies hope that the new mobile-optimised websites will encourage consumers to upgrade their phones and access the web more while on the move – and thus generate lots of lovely lolly for their coffers.
“As .mobi will encourage the usage of advanced functionalities in mobile devices, the market potential for those devices will increase,” the companies said in a joint statement.
For some old timer designers it’ll feel like being back in the mid 1990s with the new mobile sites having to take into account the small screens, limited memory and frugal bandwidth available on mobile phones.
Although the new suffix makes perfect sense for British babblers (who call their phones ‘mobiles’), it’s a little more confusing for the Finns, where mobile phones going under the curious name of “kannyka,” which sounds like something that Ali G may have come out with. Aye!