Innovation 2015 chapter extract: Is the importance of mobile exaggerated?

This is the “Year of Mobile”. Honestly.

Innovation chapter download: mobile ()

Forget all those other years that were declared “Year of Mobile” dating back to 2005 when former Yahoo mobile strategist Russell Beattie apparently coined the phrase.

Well, to be fair, there was a gap in the use of the moniker in 2006-07 — CNET called 2006 the “Year of Mobile Malware” and CNN called 2007 the “Year of Mobile TV”. But since 2007, every year has been declared the “Year of Mobile” by an ever-increasing number of prognosticators.

But this year is really it. Hey, if Papau New Guinea will get close to 100 per cent of all its web traffic from mobile, wouldn’t you say the “Year of Mobile” had finally arrived?

Beyond Oceania, consider these statistics from the Digital, Social and Mobile in 2015 Report by global social media agency We Are Social:

  • In September 2014, the number of unique mobile users passed 3.6 billion, or 50 per cent of the world’s population
  • The number of mobile devices surpassed the world population in December 2014
  • And in 2015, for the first time more than one-quarter of the global population will use smartphones 
  • By 2018, more than one-third of consumers worldwide, or 2.56 billion people, will use smartphones, according to eMarketer. That figure represents more than half of all mobile phone users
  • Nine out of ten 18-24 year olds and 85 per cent of 25-34 year olds worldwide visit social networking sites and apps on their smartphone. And in the US, those two age groups spend an average of five hours and 12 minutes A DAY on their smartphones, according to BuzzFeed
  • Web traffic is dominated by mobile around the world with an average of 38 per cent of all web pages served worldwide coming from mobile
  • By contrast, laptops and desktops saw a 13 per cent decline in share of web traffic
  • Countries with high mobile web access: Nigeria (79 per cent), India (72 per cent), South Africa (61 per cent), and Indonesia (59 per cent)
  • Mobile commerce is increasingly being embraced worldwide with East Asia and China dominating (37 per cent of South Korean and 27 per cent of Chinese have made a mobile purchase in the last 30 days

Given those numbers, perhaps we should just reconcile ourselves to the fact that, until the next big medium comes along, every year going forward will be the “Year of Mobile”.

Innovation in Magazine Media 2015-2016 World Report is published by FIPP and produced by INNOVATION Media Consulting. The authors are John Wilpers, senior director/US and Juan Senor, partner, INNOVATION Media Consulting.

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