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The Mobile Industry 2012-2015 – Overview, Trends and Predictions

February 1, 2013

Mobile Industry Stage Setting Trends

As the first month of 2013 rolls toward its end, we take the opportunity to share some observations of the past and expectations for the current year. 2012 was far from boring and saw many surprising and not so much developments such as the slow demise of the netbook and its gradual replacement by the tablet in mature markets; growing use of the smartphone before and during shopping for a better experience; the birth of Window 8 for tablets and many others.

Looking forward we see just as many worthy of mentioning possibilities, among which the possible end of patent wars, Windows Phone OS smartly benefiting from the battle of distracted giants, mobile security threats stirring smart vendors into action and so on. Each of the events we’ve witnessed in the past and those we are yet to see will shape the industry in its own way. In this article we share some past figures to set the stage right and in a second part to come out next week we shall present some opinions of how 2013 will unfold.

Mobile Industry Statistics – Smartphone owners and penetration

Over 115 million consumers in the US have used a smartphone monthly during the last year, an increase from 93 million in 2011. It is expected that by the end of 2013 smartphone users will represent more than half of all mobile phone owners and nearly three fifths of users will own a smartphone by 2016. Smartphone users are a class defined by parameters different than gender, age or income bracket, but rather by sharing a common set of behaviors in communication, media consumption and shopping. These users require instant access and immediate response, they turn to their phone and expect results now, be they entertainment or completion of a quick task. This increased frequency of mobile device use will help smart marketers interact with consumers better. Mobile games, video and music consumption is also expected to rocket by 2015.


Mobile Industry Statistics – m-Commerce sales volumes

In 2011 m-Commerce sales in the US reached an all-time high of $6 billion, with 73% growth predicted for 2013, and with the trend expected to continue until reaching a staggering $31 billion in 2015. The rate of m-Commerce growth is expected to be around 55% average annually. The stage is set by the steadily increasing number of smartphone owners, improved user trust and consumer comfort with mobile shopping, and more and more retailers coming online with mobile shopping sites. The proliferation of mobile applications which focus on making shopping always available, much easier, more convenient and even fun will boost m-Commerce further.


Mobile Industry Statistics – Mobile shopping

2011 made mobile shopping a synonym of smartphone shopping, with smartphone users accounting for 93% of overall mobile shopping consumers. As feature phones slowly fade away and smartphones become more accessible it is only natural for users to enjoy the smooth shopping experience their mobile devices offer, and dive into a multitude of mobile browsing, comparing, shopping and purchasing activities. The number of users who have actually completed a purchase on their phone is expected to reach 61 million in 2015. Different categories see different adoption rates with mobile phone purchases still accounting for a relatively small share of e-commerce volumes. The trend however is growing as we see categories such as travel activities and ticket sales slowly gather momentum, with mobile seemingly the preferred medium for that type of transactions and purchases.


Mobile Industry Predictions 2013-2015

After setting the stage with this article, stay with us for the second part of this Mobile Industry 2012-2013 Review, where we unveil some expectations for the current year. We would be glad to hear your thoughts on the subject as well!

[sources: RSR Research, ABI Research, Coda Research Consultancy, eMarketer ]

Author: Maria Williamson

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