Currently, standards are advancing rapidly in the area of mobile Web applications as part of the emerging HTML5 platform. The goal, backed strongly by Google and Mozilla, is for websites to be able to do anything that native apps can. If this happens, native apps may no longer be necessary or desirable - right? Would the considerable advantages of the mobile Web (its near-zero footprint, updates performed on the server, and support for all platforms) convince developers and users to target the Web instead of the iPhone and Android? And would Apple allow this to happen?
This utopian dream has existed in one form or another for at least two decades now, and I wonder if we'll ever get there. It'd be nice to be freed from the clutches of Google Play and the App Store, but it's a long way off, still.