Smart phone adoption rate in context
Did you know that the Internet just turned 20?
In the States it wouldn’t even be allowed to have a drink at a bar.
Did you know that youtube is five years old and still in kindergarden?
Imagine that Facebook didn’t get to see the 2004 Athens Olympic Games and that Jobs unveiled the iPhone to the public on January 9th, 2007.
No matter what your age is, doesn’t it feel like somehow all these always existed ?
These technologies have been part of our lives for the past few years, they are interwoven with our every day life and quickly have succeeded in occupying a dominant part of our time.
The adoption rate was so fast that it took us by surprise.
As a matter of fact, the Internet was the fastest adopted technology ever, compared to older technological innovations, such as television and the telegraph.
In 1992, the number of Internet-connected American households was less than 2 million. Fifteen years later, it was close to 75 million.
and then came mobile...
Just a few years ago, smartphones were viewed as expensive toys for geeks, bussiness people and Apple fan boys. This is no longer the case; Smartphones have become mainstream in developed markets, and are taking a growing proportion of device sales in more cost-sensitive markets around the globe.
In the second quarter of 2011, smartphone penetration surpassed 29% globally in Q3, 2011 according to Strategy Analytics. However, smartphone shipment penetration varies widely from nearly 65% in the USA and over 50% in Europe to 19% in Asia-Pacific, 17% in Latin America and 18% in Africa/Middle East, according to vision mobile.
Some claim that smartphone penetration is not as big as we think and others raise the argument that it hasn't reached a critical mass yet, in order for them to consider incorporating a mobile startegy in their marketing mix.
Well, that might be the case, but i'd like to highlight 2 important trends:
The first one is the adaption rate of smart phones in elderly population. Seniors can take advantage of mobile technology in order to receive medical care and use applications specially designed for their needs. Smart manufacturers like www.doro.com have noticed that trend and are allready developing easy-to-use smart phones for the elderly. Those devices will be equiped with medical apps and sensors that will be a part of everyday routine for most elderly people soon enough.
The second trend is highlighted by google's vision to bring the internet to the remaining 5 billion people of the developing world. This will be achieved soon enough, when under $20 Android smartphones will be a reality (other manufacturers like Nokia will follow). The developing world will inevitably go "straigh to mobile" without ever having used a PC.
The benefits mobile technology will provide for rural and low-income populations are obvious since they are in need for services such health, education and communications that cannot be provided otherwise.
The point is that mobile is taking over! And it will happen sooner than you think...
This debate about smartphone penetration reminds me of advice my first boss gave me back in 1996 which I would like to share with you:
“From what you hear, believe nothing; from what you see just take half, only what is in your hands is sure enough...”
Chances are there is a smart phone in your hand!