Home The Real Reason Why Wolfram Alpha Shut Down Its Mobile Site

The Real Reason Why Wolfram Alpha Shut Down Its Mobile Site

Yesterday, Wolfram Research shut down the iPhone-optimized version of Wolfram Alpha, the company’s “computational knowledge engine.” Many pundits speculated that Wolfram decided to shutter the mobile site in order to drive more users to the company’s $50 iPhone app. Earlier this morning, we got a chance to talk to Schoeller Porter, Wolfram’s product manager for the iPhone app. According to Schoeller, the reason for killing the mobile site was simple: not enough people were using it.

It is important to remember that while Wolfram offered an iPhone optimized landing page, the actual results pages were always identical to those of the regular web version. All Wolfram did was shut down this landing page. According to Porter, users can still get the same result pages by entering their queries into the search box on the default Wolfram Alpha website. Porter argues that nothing of substance was actually removed.

Why Did Wolfram Kill the Mobile Landing Page?

In our conversation, Schoeller Porter pointed out that this landing page was only meant to be a test, and traffic to the site had decreased to the point where the company simply decided to pull the plug.

It’s not surprising that Porter would defend Wolfram’s decision to shut down the mobile site as a traffic issue, and not as a ploy to sell more of the company’s pricey mobile app. According to Porter, users can still choose to get a good mobile experience through the website and those users who need a mobile experience can always get the mobile app. Until now, though, the mobile landing page offered a happy medium between the regular desktop website and the mobile app.

Currently, the team wants to focus on enhancing the experience on the default website and the mobile app; Wolfram is also thinking about mobile apps for Android and BlackBerry.

Why Not Just Keep the Mobile Site Up?

One could argue, however, that it really wouldn’t have cost Wolfram a lot of money or manpower to keep the mobile landing page up for the time being. The company also didn’t help itself by killing the mobile site without any explanation on its blog. The fact that the mobile site now features a big add for the iPhone app only helped to fuel the speculation about Wolfram’s intentions.

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Get the biggest tech headlines of the day delivered to your inbox

    By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy. Unsubscribe anytime.

    Tech News

    Explore the latest in tech with our Tech News. We cut through the noise for concise, relevant updates, keeping you informed about the rapidly evolving tech landscape with curated content that separates signal from noise.

    In-Depth Tech Stories

    Explore tech impact in In-Depth Stories. Narrative data journalism offers comprehensive analyses, revealing stories behind data. Understand industry trends for a deeper perspective on tech's intricate relationships with society.

    Expert Reviews

    Empower decisions with Expert Reviews, merging industry expertise and insightful analysis. Delve into tech intricacies, get the best deals, and stay ahead with our trustworthy guide to navigating the ever-changing tech market.