The backlash against accessing the Internet using a WAP-enabled cell phone or other wireless device. Also: WAP lash or WAP-lash.
This week we look at one of the snappiest words to talk its way into the language of the new economy. In a cutting edge dictionary it comes between Walmartian (someone who buys everything from jump leads to jewellery at Wal-Mart) and warpig (a very ugly person). The word which is keeping the wireless industry awake at night is WAPlash.
—"Mobile Net on track despite consumer WAPlash," South China Morning Post, April 3, 2002
When the first WAP phones appeared early this year, many Wall Street analysts cheered. They called WAP the key to jump-starting e-commerce over mobile phones. They said WAP would make it easier to buy flowers, order books and check bank-account balances. WAPlash? By summer, a WAP backlash was well under way.
—Reinhardt Krause, "Does Standard For Wireless Web Pages Have Legs?," Investor's Business Daily, September 15, 2000
What I want to know is, who's the genius who thought people would actually want to view Internet data on a teensy cell phone screen? And who are the near-geniuses who didn't immediately slap that person upside the head for suggesting such a silly thing?
The earliest citation I could find for WAPlash was the headline "Wap-lash" that appeared in the February 3, 2000 issue of New Media Age, which, not at all coincidentally, was right around the time when the first WAP-enabled phones hit the streets. Unfortunately, that cite might be a play on whiplash since the article discusses a failed WAP demonstration.