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mCommerce on your Treo

Yesterday, completely by accident, I finally found the proper URL for Amazon’s full mobile shopping.

Whereas the previous (unbelievably long) URL that I was using ( http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/dt/pda-1.0/subst/aa/pda/home.html/103-9074079-9516610 ) did have the proper mobile-optimized start page, any searches would nonetheless land you on the full Amazon.com rendering any results almost completely unreadable and painfully slow.

The new (still unbelievably long) URL that I found ( http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/dt/upda-1.0-pocketpc/subst/aa/upda/home.html/103-9074079-9516610 ) now finally has both a mobile-optimized start page and product search results.  Additionally, you can even go all the way to your shopping cart to complete a purchase directly from your Treo thus delivering one of the few mCommerce examples.  It works extremely well and fast providing just the right amount of uncluttered information – just as a mobile-optimized version is supposed to...



I have no idea why someone couldn’t have come up with the rather more simple mobile.amazon.com or amazon.com/mobile URL.  However, this probably serves to illustrate what I see as a massive issue regarding some of our favourite and most visited sites online which still fail to deliver a similarly good mobile experience. 

These companies might be thinking that there isn’t yet a sufficiently large market to warrant investment for dedicated mobile developments.  I might have agreed in the days of WAP but surely now companies must be realizing that the future will require a mobile strategy to complement their existing online one.  At present such a strategy appears to be still sorely lacking for most established players and it is new entrants such as Answers.com that are rapidly taking the lead.

There is nevertheless some hope on the horizon.  According to a recent BBC News article, it could soon be much easier to browse the web on our Treo as approval for a .mobi domain has been given by the organisation that oversees the net’s addressing system.  The intention is for websites that use the .mobi domain to be created specifically for mobile devices.

Not surprisingly, the motivation for this .mobi domain “came out of the realisation that use of the net on handsets is growing far slower than the rate of overall subscribers for mobiles”.  The obvious issue at the moment is that “few websites are designed with mobile users in mind” but instead “are put together for viewing on a PC at resolutions of 800 by 600 pixels that connects to the net far faster than most mobile phones can (currently) do”.

As far as I can recall I’ve not yet ever purchased anything via my Treo online but seeing how easy it was to browse and shop via this Amazon URL I think that I may very soon change that.  However, Amazon is but one of many websites and services that I would like to see Treo-optimized and I wonder what your own thoughts and experiences are in this area.

mCommerce Treonauts
1. Have you ever purchased anything online via your Treo?


2. If yes, what did you buy?


3. If no, would you consider buying something via your Treo in the future?


4. What are the products/services that you would most like to buy via your Treo?


5. Which of your favourite eCommerce or information websites would you most like to see Treo-optimized for mobile buying/viewing?


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UPDATE: It was a bit strange that Amazon’s mobile version should not have a shorter URL and so now I find out that they do actually have one at amazon.com/pocketpc [Thanks Jonathan].  However, I would naturally much rather have preferred that they use the more general term ‘mobile’ than to provide some free advertising for Microsoft’s PocketPC platform… 
UPDATE2: Even better now… the simplest URL of all is www.pdaamazon.com [Thanks Hepcephus]
Treonauts want optimized mobile experiences

Posted by Andrew on July 26, 2005 at 09:03 PM

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by Jonathan | Jul 27, 2005 12:42:23 AM

You can just go to http://www.amazon.com/pocketpc
no unreasonably long URL required

by jeffgrado | Jul 27, 2005 7:46:56 AM

I have purchased using Amazon's mobile site. Very easy, infact, when you place their order, the website states "YES, it was that easy!" Very cool.

by A. Davis | Jul 27, 2005 6:30:35 PM

I know, I know... *BUT* the Amazon link under the shopping section of my Treo optimized site has *always* had the proper URL. :)


by Hepcephus | Jul 28, 2005 9:12:33 PM

Just go to PDAmazon:


It's that simple.

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