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WAP and i-mode - what difference?
Posted: 03-Jul-2002 [Source: infosync]

[A perspective on the WAP vs. i-mode debate.]

by Oliver Thylmann -- "I've read this over and over and over again, and I am starting to get really sick of it - it's just like how some people can't seem to comprehend that WLAN and Bluetooth are similar technologies, but don't compete with each other head to head.

WAP sucks. i-mode rocks and has already killed WAP. Baloney!

Let's get some facts about WAP and i-mode straight here.

WAP 1.2.1, the most often supported version in current phones on the market, uses the markup language WML, which is based on XML and is rather strict in its layout. Launching a WAP site means writing all pages specifically in WML, and having them in HTML does not really help that much - that is, besides the re-usage of database queries and the possibility to allow scripting languages such as PHP output WML content. In the end, for database driven web sites, it's a one time task. Also, WML is actually not that hard to learn - it's rather similar to HTML.

i-mode, developed by NTT DoCoMo, is based on iHTML or cHTML (iHTML plus one additional tag), which is a version of xHTML. xHTML isn't much more than HTML with two tags/options added. It's not that special. It's done to make HTML fully XML compliant.

The difference between i-mode and WAP ends there - the real difference, that is, not the added solutions that are at the moment only available with i-mode but could in theory be added to WAP as well.

Here comes the nice part. WAP 2.0, which is already being used in the SonyEricsson T68i (its predecessor, the Ericsson T68 can have its firmware upgraded to a version that supports WAP 2.0 too), is based on xHTML. Hang on a minute; are WAP 2.0 phones able to display i-mode sites then? Yes they are. End of story. End of difference."

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