The stakes are high. Research firm comScore estimates that more than 63 million people accessed online news and information from their mobile devices at least once in January 2009, up 71% from January of last year. During the same period, the number of consumers who used their mobile device to access online content daily doubled to more than 22 million. In a statement, comScore concluded that consumers are becoming "more reliant on their mobile devices to access time-sensitive and utilitarian information."

"[Apple and Google] are certainly competing," says Kendall Whitehouse, director of new media at Wharton. "Everyone senses a shakeout in mobile platforms." Whitehouse added that he didn't think Android could completely upend Apple's iPhone, which had 13% of the smartphone market in the second quarter of this year, according to research firm Gartner. However, he points out that Google could certainly steal market share from Apple in the mobile market.

"The reason the battlefront has moved to mobile is that most businesses see this as the future of advertising, person-to-person [social networking] and even consumption," says Eric Bradlow, a marketing professor at Wharton. "In many people's view, what is most important is having access to consumers often and in contexts in which they are receptive to advertising and likely to purchase. Mobile access is that venue."

Get the full story at Knowledge@Wharton