Is your company ready for the ever-growing mobile market?
This is a startling tech statistic: on Earth there are 7 billion people, 4.8 billion mobile phones, and 4.2 billion toothbrushes. Not astonished? Well how about this: there are 3 times more smartphones being activated every minute around the world than there are babies being born. Whether we want to accept it or not, the mobile market share is increasing at a rapid pace. And with this rise, our personal and professional relationship with mobile tech must evolve.
The mobile evolution has spawned two kinds of users: SMOs, or “selective mobile-only” users, and multi-screen users (the latter we’ll discuss in Part 2 of this post). Globally, SMOs make up the 6% market share that accounts for a blind spot in desktop websites. These users almost exclusively use a tablet or smartphone to browse the internet. In China, the SMO share is a third of their internet users, while Nigeria’s SMOs account for over half of their internet users. This geographical discrepancy is due to rural communities now gaining internet access through mobile devices, an accessibility feature likely to lead to growth in mobile users everywhere. Meanwhile in the US, the leading SMOs are young: 50 percent of teen smartphone owners aged 12-17 say they use the internet almost exclusively on their cellphone, according to a 2013 Pew Internet report on Teens and Technology. Based on these trends, the market share of SMOs will continue getting bigger.
Tech manufacturers are cashing in on to the fact that what was once a trend is now a way of life. In August 2013, Lenovo announced that smartphones and tablet sales had risen 105%—this news came on the heels of a Gartner, Inc. report showing a 40% sales drop for Acer and Asus PCs. And in another study released in March 2014, Gartner, Inc. stated: “Worldwide sales of tablets to end users reached 195.4 million units in 2013, a 68 percent increase on 2012.”
As SMOs mature into the new generation of workers, and equipment is modified—and phased out—to meet current developments, companies need to recognize the importance of modernizing their own technology to suit contemporary skillsets and tools.
SMOs are only one piece of the mobile market puzzle. Stay tuned for Part 2 of “An Increasingly Mobile World” where we explore the “multi-screen” user!