The groundwork for a robust mobile Web app ecosystem was laid in 2011. The HTML5 spec evolved and major players began taking note that, hey, there might be some potential with the mobile Web ... if only it could be monetized. Mobile developers are certainly testing out HTML5 apps and where the developers go, the tools providers will follow.
For mobile developers, there are more tools to choose from than what IDE and framework to write code in. Developers also need to make money. In recent weeks we have seen several companies come out with payment models for HTML5 mobile Web apps looking to get an early slice of the pie that forecasters expect to grow exponentially in the next few years.
PaymentOne, an international direct to carrier billing service. PaymentOne released an HTML5 API today for mobile Web app and game developers to create easy integration of carrier billing for in-app purchases. PaymentOne is focused on micro-payments through the carriers and broadband providers to bring mobile payments to merchants, media and mobile developers.The latest entrant into HTML5 mobile Web payments is
There are several other players looking to create payments for HTML5 apps. AT&T released a suit of HTML5 APIs during the Consumer Electronics Show in January. Facebook will eventually look to monetize mobile Web apps through its Facebook Credits vertical. HTML5 development studio announced playMobi last week that is a set of tools for payments and analytics for the mobile Web. PayPal believes that it can become the de facto payments service for anything mobile, HTML5 or otherwise. PaymentOne fits in this ecosystem with its HTML5 API as one of the only options for direct carrier billing.
The goal for all of these companies is to create an ecosystem that benefits the developer. This has less to do with the actual technical implementation of payments in mobile Web apps than making development of mobile Web apps a viable option for publishers. We have talked about how HTML5 will be the "third platform" for developers in 2012 (after iOS and Android) but the only way that will be an option is if developers can find a way to make money. PaymentOne's entrance into the vertical is an example of how the mobile ecosystem at large is creating tools to tackle this problem.
Developers: how do you plan to monetize your mobile Web apps? What are the best solutions available and what are you still looking for from the ecosystem to make your life simpler? Let us know in the comments.