Perhaps the most impactful trend in digital technologies in the last decade has been the advent of mobile technologies. Beginning with the simple cellphone in the 1990s and evolving into the smartphones and tablets of today, the growth of mobile has been overwhelming. Here are some key indicators of this trend:
- Mobile device sales. In 2011, smartphones began outselling personal computers.
- The number of smartphone subscribers grew at 31% in 2013, with China leading the way at 354 million smartphone users.
- Internet access via mobile. In May of 2013, mobile accounted for 15% of all Internet traffic. In China, 75% of Internet users used their smartphone to access it. Facebook reported that 68% of its active users used their mobile platform to access the social network.
- The rise of tablets. While Apple defined the smartphone with the iPhone, the iPad sold more than three times as many units in its first twelve months as the iPhone did in its first twelve months. Tablet shipments now outpace notebook PCs and desktop PCs. The research firm IDC predicts that 87% of all connected devices will be either smartphones or tablets by 2017.