Access Walmart.com from an Apple iPhone and you will be automatically redirected to a stripped-down version of the site where tiny links are replaced by large buttons suitable for chubby fingers tapping a screen.
The iPhone-optimised version of the site, launched last year, is geared towards helping customers carrying their mobile around stores. It offers a store locator tool and the ability to add to a shopping list – but attempting to make a purchase takes the user back to the main website.
Wal-Mart is one of only a handful of major retailers that has an iPhone-optimised version of their site. Amazon, eBay and Victoria’s Secret have also taken this approach. But others are likely to follow their lead. Although the iPhone’s market share is hovering around just 1 per cent of mobile handsets, figures published this month by Net Applications suggest that the iPhone’s Safari web browser now accounts for 67 per cent of web use from mobile devices.