There's been a lot of buzz around an article by Jakob Nielsen: Mobile Site vs. Full Site. .net mag has a good packet of articles:
- Nielsen is wrong on mobile by Josh Clark;
- Designers respond to Nielsen on mobile;
- Nielsen responds to mobile criticism.
The gist of the replies / rebuttals are that Nielsen seems to be stuck in the old way of thinking, and isn't embracing what is becoming the reality for web development today: the massive number of different devices being used to access the web means applying a robust, Progressive Enhancement-driven, Responsive approach is the way forward. It doesn't make sense to assume user intent from device context, to give mobile (or tablet, or other) users less content, or to provide separate sites at separate URLs.
Related: Browser screen resolution stats rile devs.
These screen resolution trends are nice to look at for historical reference, but that's about it. The relation between screen resolution, browser viewport, and physical size of the screen is becoming increasingly complicated. Smartphones have physically small screens, but often have a high resolution. TVs have physically huge screens, but can have resolutions of 1920x1080: the same as many laptops.
This line of work is getting more complicated and difficult; but more interesting because of it!