The mobile wave has only just begun.
Apple had one of their fancy product introduction events today. Did you notice that there wasn't a single mention of desktops or laptops? None. Only mobile devices. Wondering why? Well, let me toss some staggering numbers at you:
- For the first half of 2013, as much media was consumed on mobile devices as on all traditional media categories combined (Business Insider).
- In 2008, less than 1% of all internet traffic was on mobile devices — today it's 15× that and growing fast (KPCB 2013 Trends).
- Mobile users check their phone on average 150 times a day (KPCB 2013 Trends).
- Remember when naysayers said that mobile pageviews couldn't be monetized? Today, 41% of Facebook's ad revenue is mobile (AdAge).
- Today, there are almost as many mobile phones in use as there are people on earth (6.8 billion mobiles in use on a planet of 7.1 billion people). Several countries now have more mobile phones than people (see list).
- Tablets, as a new category, are growing even faster than smartphones did. 140 million iPad units shipped in the first 12 quarters after its launch, compared to 50 million iPhones in its first 12 quarters after launch (KPCB 2013 Trends).
While much of the mobile activity thus far has been consumer-driven, I think the next chapter will be enterprise-driven. The enterprise IT world always lags behind the consumer market (remember Blackberry?). Gartner projects that by 2015, software development projects targeting smartphones and tablets will outnumber web/desktop software projects by 4:1.
It's been amazing for all of us to watch the mobile phenomenon the past couple years, but honestly I think we're still at the very early part of the wave. Which brings me to my final factoid of the day: In 1995 only 30% of Fortune 500 companies even had a website. The internet boom hit in full-force 4 years later.
I think that's about where we are today with mobile. The full force of the wave is still ahead of us. It's gonna be fun.