Mobile Application or Mobile Site? That's the question.
We're committed to assisting our clients with making this critical decision. In most cases, mobile sites can be much more cost effective to develop and much easier to support than Mobile Applications. Mobile Sites are readily consumed by all smart phone platforms. No need to go through lengthy approval processes for the application release (thanks Apple). There's no need to develop in multiple languages (iPhone: Objective C, Droid: Java, Blackberry: Java ME). You can do just about everything in a mobile site that you can do with a mobile application - or can you?
Mobile Applications have their benefits. The Mobile Application route allows developers to take advantage of applications that are native to the device. For example, a parts look-up and distributor locator application could take advantage of the devices GPS technology to route the consumer to the nearest distributor based on their current location. The application can readily integrate with Google Maps on Droid devices to provide consumers with driving directions. Lets not forget the end-user experience. In some cases, an application can provide a superior user experience, increasing the likelihood of continued use.
Ultimately the decision must be driven based on your business need and the development of a clearly defined strategy based on well defined user profiles and desired functionality.