The growth of the mobile economy – made possible by smartphones – is phenomenal. The Yankee Group sees global mobile transactions exceeding $1 Trillion by 2015 from $241 billion in 2011.
Nielsen expects the US to have more smartphones than feature phones by the end of the year. The number of smartphone users will increase 49.6% this year to 90.1 million, according to eMarketer. Almost half of UK internet users go online via mobile phone.
The US mobile Web population is expected to grow 25% this year as 97.3 million mobile owners log on to the Internet from their device at least monthly. Without the iPhone, T-Mobile was crushed.
US social network ad revenues are expected to reach $3.08 Billion this year and rise by a further 27.7% next year to reach nearly $4 billion.
Google display ad revenues are expected to pass $1 Billion This Year, although eclipsed handily by Facebook. Facebook’s share of US online display ad revenues will grow to 17.7 percent in 2011, up from a 12.2 percent share last year, according to eMarketer.
This year, Facebook is expected to bring in $4.05 billion in advertising revenues worldwide, $2.19 billion of which will come from the US.
None of this would have happened if wireless carriers had their way.
Consider the 700 MHz auction in January, 2008. Verizon and AT&T wanted to block independent app stores. They demanded absolute control over all smartphone applications.
But Google requested the FCC adopt “open” policies to phones and services. That provision would be triggered with a minimum bid of $4.6 billion on the 700 MHz band.
- Open applications: Consumers should be able to download and utilize any software applications, content, or services they desire;
- Open devices: Consumers should be able to utilize a handheld communications device with whatever wireless network they prefer;
- Open services: Third parties (resellers) should be able to acquire wireless services from a 700 MHz licensee on a wholesale basis, based on reasonably nondiscriminatory commercial terms; and
- Open networks: Third parties (like internet service providers) should be able to interconnect at any technically feasible point in a 700 MHz licensee’s wireless network.
The FCC ruled in favor of Google’s request, but only two of the four requirements were put in place, open applications and open devices.
The result: Google was outbid by Verizon, triggering open platform provisions.
That enabled a trillion dollar industry.
- Apple’s App Store opened on July 10, 2008. On July 11, the iPhone 3G was launched and came pre-loaded with iOS 2.0.1 with App Store support;
- Google’s Android Market opened 22 October 2008. It now has some 250,000 apps. Most are free.
Global mobile operator revenues are set to break the trillion dollar mark this year. The global mobile applications market is expected to be worth $25.0 billion in 2015, growing at a CAGR of 29.6% from 2010 to 2015.
There are currently 5.28 billion mobile subscribers worldwide, representing 76% of the world’s population of 6.75 billion. In 2010, barely 20% of the total mobile devices shipped were smart phones — which means 80% of the existing user market is still untapped.
Global voice and data revenue for 2010 is estimated at $830 billion, 1.4% of world GDP of $60.63 trillion. Global mobile services revenue is projected to exceed $1 trillion by 2014.
None of this would have happened if carriers successfully killed app stores.