.mobi domain name registration and landrush: a big deal?

mobi.gifEver since I learned about .mobi coming out (Landrush 1 begins in 5 days), I’ve been wondering about its significance. I estimate it falls somewhere between “huge opportunity” and “waste of time” (which can sort of be applied to anything I suppose).

But after researching it for a little bit, I didn’t really get a sense of where in the continuum it lies. Here’s two possible scenarios, the way I see it:

  1. .mobi is a sleeping monster and not enough people are realizing its potential or are aware of it. There are far more mobile devices than computers, and as soon as the providers get it together and access via phone becomes as easy and painless as access via computer, this market will REALLY open up. Landrush is coming in about a week and you’d be foolish not to pick up some choice domain names. Snagging a .mobi might be as significant and lucrative as snagging a .com was back in its heyday.
  2. .mobi is nothing more than another generic TLD like a .us or a .info. Most people will still end up using .com, even on their cell phones and it won’t make that much of a difference.

One rumor I heard was that phones will be defaulting to .mobi. I haven’t been able to really find anything concrete that states this. If it was true, then I’d be leaning more towards option 1, however, I’m not so sure that’s the case. A lot of hype has been thrown around “Google and Nokia are backing this” and other Don King-esque sales pitches, but it almost seems like self-promotion by the people involved with .mobi.

I’ve asked some people about the significance and potential of .mobi, but nobody has been able to really tell me a solid opinion. Any experts out there that want to chime in?