It seems like everything goes mobile these days. Mobile phones get smarter, tablets get more and more popular and people use their mobile phones for much more than voice. Mobile internet usage includes news, entertainment, shopping, social networking and much more.
The Facts on mobile internet
First of all – what is mobile internet? It is the usage of internet on mobile devices such as handhelds, tablets, personal assistants, netbooks or laptops. It has become quite popular in the past 3 years growing growing from under 1% of total internet traffic in 2009 to more than 10% in 2012.
The mobile internet is expected to surpass desktop internet by 2014, as shown in the attached graph (source). Such a fast adoption rate is caused by:
- Decrease in PC sales (HP sales in the US decreased 12 percent in the second quarter of 2012 and Dell’s PC sales decreased by 9%).
- Increase in tablet and smartphones adoption (Apple alone has shipped over 60 million tablets in just 2 years from launch and more than 20 million iphones)
- Decrease in 3G connectivity costs (Idea Cellular decreased the costs for 3G connectivity in India by 70% )
- Mobile penetration is disproportionately larger than internet penetration. The global mobile adoption rate is now 86.7% . The global internet adoption rate is 32.7%. Mobile operators will grab out and reach the treasure that is mobile data traffic. They have the infrastructure, the clients and the distribution.
- Voice has been steadily declining compared to data traffic in developed countries.
Mobile internet plans are decreasing and adoption rate is increasing – what now?
With mobile internet plans decreasing we will see a clear increase in adoption rate. There is still a long way to go as mobile traffic accounts for only 10% of all internet traffic. Taking into account the fact that Internet has just 32.7% penetration we see that there is a huge opportunity there: mobile internet traffic is due to increase by at least 1000% in the next five years.
How can we benefit from mobile traffic growth?
Using this date one might think of this potential opportunities:
- Increase in cheap smartphones sales. As you can see in a previous article almost 75% of all mobile phones are owned by consumers in developing countries. This consumers need low-cost, decent performance, mobile internet ready devices.
- Increase in mobile operators revenue. The untapped potential of data traffic is even bigger than the one voice plans had. Mobile operators already have the client base, the mobile infrastructure and the distribution network to reach this potential market.
- Increase in mobile commerce: whether retail or paid apps distribution the mobile sales will increase in the future, even at a faster rate.
- Premium mobile entertainment: just like apps, paid entertainment will develop at an exponential rate in the future.
- Decreased market for desktop based software companies: Microsoft has already began to feel the surge in desktop sales as desktop based software such as Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Office will either adapt or fade away.