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A Surprising Look At The Future:
Mobile & Internet Trends 2012

2012-internet-trends5.gifMary Meeker, a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caulfield and Byers, periodically puts out a paper looking at the most significant trends in the internet and mobile, as well as her view for the likely future.

Her latest work was presented to a group of students at Stanford University in December of 2012. It provides a fascinating overview of two of the biggest forces shaping our lives today.

Naturally she starts by providing the basic data on several of key factors about the internet and our connected society. You may have a good idea about some of these, but she has gathered together a lot of actual numbers which highlight the trends.

For example, smartphone growth has been incredibly rapid over the past couple of years. There are now over 1 billion smartphones in the world, a figure that is growing over 40% per year. However, the differences in smartphone penetration by country are extreme, ranging from 65% in Japan down to only 4% in India!


And if you were wondering how fast tablets like the iPad are really growing, look at this comparison between the adoption rates for iPods, iPhones, and iPads. iPads growth is about 3x!


And the comparison between the take-up rate for Android vs. iPhones is even more surprising, with Android growth being 6 times as fast.


So what is the impact of this extremely rapid uptake of mobile and tablet devices? This has to be one of the most surprising slides in the deck, showing the percentage of personal computing platforms by operating system.

Whereas 8 to 10 years ago Windows was by far the dominant personal OS, with over 95% share, today the mobile operating systems iOS and Android together represent 2/3, with Windows running only about 1/3 of the personal computing platforms!


Another key trend is the growth of mobile internet. Although the majority of “personal computing platforms” are now mobile focused, mobile internet represents less than 15% of total internet traffic. However, this is growing very quickly, and in some countries (such as India), mobile internet traffic has surpassed PC internet.


In terms of the opportunity for mobile advertising, Meeker’s charts highlight the discrepancy in the spending for different media compared to the actual time that consumers spend on the media.

For example, print media receives an overly large share, with 25% of all advertising money going to print even though the time spent is only 7%.

For mobile, there is a massive underspend, with only 1% of the spend and 10% of the time. Together with a less dramatic underspend in online, Meeker figures this represents about a $20 billion opportunity in the US alone.


Meeker covers a wide variety of interesting topics in her presentation, including

  • Mobile commerce
  • smartphone camera shipments
  • land lines vs. mobile lines
  • personal navigation
  • health and the “connected body”
  • education
  • the growth of Big Data
  • “asset-light” lifestyles
  • and many more

Together, the data provided plus the qualitative comments paint a great picture of where our society is heading.

This is a very thought provoking look at the growth and role of the internet and mobile, and more globally how life styles are changing because of the internet. It is really worth the time to take a look through this slide deck and think about what Mary Meeker has to say.

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16.01.2013    Tags: , , ,
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