Monday, August 17, 2009

How Long Before Mobiles Eclipse PCs as Internet Platform?

It long has been the conventional wisdom that mobile phones will be the way most people in developing markets access the Internet. And though that likely will not prove true in developed markets, it does seem inevitable that a significant percentage of total Internet and Web usage originates from smart phones.

Whether it is ultimately 25 percent or 50 percent of usage that is initiated from mobiles is not clear. What is clear is that the percentage of Web and Internet application usage from mobiles is growing with no natural limit in sight.

And at least some observers think 2010 could be the year more sessions originate from mobiles than from PCs. To be sure, that prediction assumes heavy use of social networking, instant messaging and other communications activities, plus Web-based entertainment, will drive mobile Web activities.

The prediction likely would not be correct if one counted the length of sessions or Web browsing activities. But social networking is an application growing fast, and which is ideally suited for mobile sharing and updating.

Demand for smart phones will make up 70 per cent of new device sales by 2012, while sales of "mid-tier" feature phones declines, according to researchers at Gartner.

Worldwide mobile phone sales totalled 286.1 million units in the second quarter of 2009, a 6.1 per cent decrease from the second quarter of 2008, but smart phone sales surpassed 40 million units, a 27 per cent increase from the same period last year, representing the fastest-growing segment of the mobile-devices market.

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