The Effects of the Massive Growth of the Mobile Industry

It’s undeniable, smartphones are everywhere. A new report from Business Insider Intelligence shows us that the mobile industry is growing fast, so fast that some brands can’t keep up. More media is being consumed on smartphones than ever before. Check out the chart below and the report highlights for some quick info on how the massive growth of the mobile industry is affecting the technology industry as a whole.

From the chart we can see that in the last two years, the amount of people using their smartphone for games and social networking has nearly doubled. Entertainment has slowly crept up, but news made a surprising drop from Q1 2012 to Q1 2013.  I wonder if the drop in getting news from smartphones is due to the increasing amount of tablet apps offering more interactive news.

Here are some highlights from the report on mobile media consumption:

  • Mobile usage is at an all-time high. U.S. consumers now dedicate one-fifth of their media consumption time to mobile. That’s a share five times greater than in 2009.
  • In fact, we’ve reached a usage tipping point. Consumers are spending as much time on mobile as they are in the traditional online category (which includes all activity on desktops and laptops.)
  • Mobile was the only media type to grow in total U.S. consumer minutes spent per day from 2010 to 2012.
  • In the course of 2013, tablet shipments have grown 83% while PC shipments dropped 13%.
  • Mobile video is already big, but it’s poised to become even bigger. Why? One key trend is that not only are consumers watching more videos on mobile devices overall, they’re also sticking to their mobile devices for longer periods of time while watching. This gives marketers more time and opportunity to place ads within streaming video content.
  • The 219 million mobile-only users now make up close to 20% of Facebook’s total user base and Pinterest’s U.S. mobile-only user base grew 28% reaching 18.3 million in June 2013.  And Facebook in particular has made significant progress monetizing this growing  audience: mobile advertisements now represent a 41% of its ad revenue.
  • Search is also becoming increasingly mobile. Tablets and smartphones now account for 26% of all local search traffic.
  • Yelp has been one huge beneficiary of increased local-mobile searches.  Google’s dominant search engine is still taking the lion’s share of local-search ad dollars, but Google’s threatened by stand-alone apps like Yelp that attract specialized searches. Every search on Yelp for a local Chinese restaurant is a lost revenue opportunity for Google, and we expect local-mobile to be one area of tumult and increased competition in the next couple of years.

The conclusion we can draw from this study is that people are using their smartphones for more than simple internet browsing.

Do you think there are overarching consequences of this mobile growth? Will we all eventually end up abandoning laptops and PCs for tablets and smartphones, or are there some things that will always require a bigger, more complex operation system?


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