The rising popularity of smartphones and their increasing use to access the internet means web sites must be prepared for effective handheld viewing.

With the launch of new phones from the likes of Apple, RIM and now HTC, with Google’s Android-based G1, that trend is set to accelerate.

Chuck Sacco, CEO of mobile marketing experts, said the G1 represented another step toward complete Web access for people on the go.

“What we’ve seen with the BlackBerry and the iPhone is a shift away from cell phones to smart phones and the G1 is going to further spur that shift,” he said.

“With Google’s Android technology also available to other cell phone manufacturers who want to develop smart phones, we anticipate a spike in the number of people using handhelds for the kind of online information they used to access while tethered to the home or office computer.”

Sacco said most businesses had yet to investigate whether their Web site was accessible to handheld users.

But an M:Metrics survey showed that 85 per cent of iPhone users accessed the Web for information and were 10 times more likely to search the mobile Web than cell phone owners.

Jon Cooper, CMO of, said companies spentd a lot of resources on intricate Web sites that simply didn’t translate to the small screen.

He said that with the market transitioning toward smart phones, businesses were missing an important opportunity if they didn’t create streamlined versions of their sites that were both accessible to handheld phones and provided information that people on-the-go actually need.

“Someone looking for lunch isn’t going to care about the history of your restaurant –they need timely information such as where you are and how to get there, what’s on your menu and what’s on special,” he said.

“You should make that information accessible on their phone to maximize your marketing opportunities.”

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