Mobile future

I read just a moment ago an interesting analysis what to expect in the near future on computer and mobile devices fields. What does mobile scale mean? tells that some time in the next six months, the number of smartphones on earth will pass the number of PCs.

This shouldn’t really surprise anyone: the mobile business is much bigger than the computer industry, and there have been more mobile phones than PCs since at least the late 1990s. There are now perhaps 3.5bn to 4bn* mobile phones, replaced every two years, versus 1.7-1.8bn PCs replaced every 5 years.

Mobile phones (on average) are replaced every two years, which means you can sell more phones in a quarter than the PC industry sells in a year. The great majority of mobile users are converting to smartphones running some variation Unix (Android=Linux).

So we will end up with somewhere over 3bn smartphones in use on earth, almost double the number of PCs. There are perhaps 900m consumer PCs on earth (mostly shared), and maybe 800m corporate PCs (locked down).

The entire internet is being changed fundamentally. On the desktop, ‘internet’ has really meant ‘web’, with a few exceptions (such as Spotify or Skype). On mobile web is no longer the only option, very often interaction is done with apps.

A lot more is up for grabs, and the scale of success looks different. When a dozen guys in a garage with a hot service get struck by lightning, that means 50m or 100m users.


  1. Teukka says:

    Just a heads-up Tomi, Firefox is flagging your site as an attack site – check your software.

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Mobile Growth Pushes Facebook to Become No. 2 US Digital Ad Seller

    Mobile now accounts for more than 22% of all US digital ad spending, compared with less than 3% in 2010

    US mobile ad spending is expected to near $9.6 billion in 2013 and account for a whopping 22.5% of all digital ad investments, according to new figures from eMarketer.

    The channel’s incredible growth—considering mobile represented just 11.9% of digital ad spending in 2012 and less than 3% of digital budgets in 2010—comes largely as consumers shift time spent from desktop to mobile devices, which has caused a significant redistribution of revenues for some of the world’s largest ad platforms.

    Facebook and Google are both major drivers and recipients of this growing market, domestically and internationally.

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Hot mod: Cyanogen raises another $23 million to become the next big version of Android

    “Mobile has really just begun,” says Kirt McMaster, Cyanogen’s CEO. “Apple, Google, and Samsung have not won. Although it seems like they’ve won, it’s still early days.”

  4. James says:

    Smartphones are climbing the stairs of success so fast I think by 2020 everyone will browse on their smartphones.


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