Mobile browser wars: Bolt vs Skyfire

Competing high-speed mobile browsers Bolt and Skyfire both have releases today reporting success in the market. With Skyfire claiming huge growth in the US, and Bolt boasting about it’s India figures, can they compete with both each other and the mobile offerings of established on-line browsers?

Bolt:

Bitstream, Bolts creator, has let it be known that one in every six of it’s users resides in India. That makes India it’s largest audience outside North America. Indian users have visited more than 5 million Web pages in the four months since Bolt launched at MWC. Considering the short timescale, and the fact that Bolt is still in beta, those are pretty good figures.

For more details, check out the original release: http://www.bitstream.com/corporate/news/press_2009/th_090526_bolt_india.html

From the release:

“Seeing how popular the BOLT mobile browser is becoming in India is particularly gratifying for the team here in India which has contributed to its engineering,” said Lokesh Joshi, director of research and development at Bitstream India.  “The BOLT browser has been getting good reviews and strong support from users all over the world but it’s very exciting to see such strong adoption here in India.  We are impressed with the number of feature phones in India on which BOLT is installed, leading us to believe that India’s mobile population is embracing mobile applications for regular phones faster than we are seeing in the West.”

Skyfire:

In the meantime, Skyfire is claiming to be the fastest downloadable browser in the US. It announced the launch of version 1.0 of its PC-like mobile browser today, and says that it has been downloaded and installed by over 1 million customers in the five months since its launch. Along with announcing that they’re going to be launching a Blackberry public beta soon, it also has a list of new features including improved zoom and navigation, better tweaks for time-saving features and a host of new time-savers that work with search, page interaction and history.

From the release:

“We were absolutely floored by the initial response to the Skyfire Beta,” said Nitin Bhandari, CEO of Skyfire. “We knew people wanted the PC web on their phones and this was clearly confirmed in the significant user growth and engagement during our beta period. We achieved our goal of delivering both a better and faster mobile browsing experience. However, bringing it to over 1M consumers exceeded our expectations of a beta, especially since they were all acquired organically by buzz and word of mouth. As we experienced explosive growth, we also experienced significant uptake in user engagement. People were using Skyfire more often and more people were making Skyfire their default browser – for all of their mobile browsing, not just video consumption.”

What we think?

A big problem here is that both of these browsers are good. They both boost speed, cut data consumption and utilise on-line systems well on a mobile platform. There are differences between the two browsers, yes, but they don’t make a real difference on a superficial level. Unless you’re a mobile browser aficionado, you’re not going to be able to pin-point them very well.

The problem here is that while the on-line web has proven that multiple browsers can operate successfully at the same time, there’s no indication that the mobile crowd is large enough or interested enough to support the same system. Bolt and Skyfire are probably the hottest independent ones at the moment, but they have Opera, Safari, Internet Explorer and the Android and Blackberry browsers to contend with… not to mention the impending mobile version of Firefox, Fennec. I can’t help but think it would make more sense for these two to combine forces (and audiences) in the face of huge, established competition. Boltfire? Skybolt?

About Cian O' Sullivan

Ace reporter, Cian, has moved on from GoMo News. He is currently the office manager for Photocall Ireland - Ireland's premier news and PR photography agency. You can check out the site at www.photocallireland.com. If you want to contact him directly about anything, Cian's new email is cian at photocallireland dot com.
This article was published in Mobile Agencies, Mobile Web, Mobile applications, mobile news and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Mobile browser wars: Bolt vs Skyfire

  1. hek says:

    “Bolt and Skyfire are probably the hottest independent ones at the moment”

    Actually, Opera Mini is much more popular.

  2. Cian says:

    By “independent”, I meant those mobile search engines without a direct on-line equivalent.

  3. hemal says:

    hey, i think Bolt looks a worthy competitor.

  4. mrred72 says:

    skyfire supports “flash” like hulu and veoh. pretty cool. even flash games its sick!!!!

  5. Pingback: Best (favorite) browser?

  6. Ed bfn says:

    I think Opera mini 4.2′s the best so far, but i use Skyfire too… It’s slower but it gives a pc version of web pages..

  7. ravi says:

    Bolt scores over skyfire. Even bolt doesn’t support flash but it is much more better than the doom skyfire browser. It also support pc style web page display.

  8. blackwellberry says:

    I don’t care about the 1 to 10 second differents of speed, but the quality has to be more like desktop web browsing. I don’t think skyfire has an app for bb curves, in witch is what I have. I us bolt. When u visit web sites, their servers determine what browser, mobile or desktop, an displays its version. U search and get better results when the websites don’t know your mobile. That’s what bolt browser feels like when I us it, vs a mobile browser like bb browser, or opera. Although, they are much faster because of the mobile page rendered.

  9. faith says:

    bolt is the best mobile internet browser..works great on my Nokia E71

  10. cybersupam says:

    I currently use opera mini 4, 5 & bolt…for downloading I use opera mini 5, for fast browsing opera mini 4, n looking a complete page I use bolt…bolt is fast but options r not smooth as opera mini

  11. Pingback: 5 Years Ahead – SDK Wars turn into Mobile Browser Wars | phillihp's tech blog

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