An analysis by The Guardian, relying on Kantar ComTech data, asserts that the UK market will reach 90 percent smartphone penetration in 2016. The publication cites a separate analysis by Horace Dediu arguing something very similar for the US market: smartphone adoption will reach 90 percent by the end of 2016.
These now sound like common sense or even bland predictions. But there was a time a few years ago when they would have sounded quite radical. But costs have come way down for smartphones (especially Android devices), and the culture has changed as well.
The future of global internet growth will mostly be driven by smartphones and tablets and not by the PC. Indeed, IT consulting firm Gartner has predicted that traditional PCs will represent only 10 percent of “device shipments” next year, 2015. The rest will be smartphones, tablets and convertible tablet-PC hybrids.
There’s considerable additional evidence of these trends coming from multiple sources. For example:
- Report: 60 Percent Of Internet Access Is Mostly Mobile
- More Time On Internet Through Smartphones Than PCs
Consumers are now living in a multi-platform world with smartphones at the center. Marketers have yet to fully “grok” this and catch up, although they’re increasingly doing so. A case in point: mobile ad revenue in the US essentially doubled in 2013 to $7.1 billion from $3.4 billion in 2012.
In the wake of all this there’s an emerging discussion or debate happening: “multiscreen” vs. “mobile first.” Google’s display ads kingpin Neal Mohan has been quoted saying, “If you’re building specifically for mobile you’re in the past. Consumers live in a multiscreen world.”
That’s both accurate and self-serving. A large majority of Google’s ad revenue still comes from PC clicks. By comparison Facebook recently reported that mobile-driven revenue represented approximately 59 percent of total Q1 ad revenue. And Twitter said this week that 80 percent of its revenue was coming from mobile devices.