Mobile Internet growth
Mobile Internet growth is the growth of the Internet when accessed via a mobile phone, laptop, etc. At one time, half the world had mobile phones. The articles in 2007-2008 were slightly misleading because the real story at the time was that the number of mobile phone subscriptions had reached half the population of the world. In reality many people have more than one subscription. For example, in Hong Kong, Italy and Ukraine, the mobile phone penetration rate has passed 140% (source wireless intelligence 2009). By 2009 even the number of unique users of mobile phones had reached half the planet, when the ITU reported that the subscriber number was to reach 4.6 billion user which means 3.8 billion activated mobile phones in use, and 3.4 billion unique users of mobile phones. The Mobile Internet data connections are following the growth of mobile phone connections albeit at a lower rate. In 2009 Yankee Group reported that 29% of all mobile phone users globally were accessing browser-based internet content on their phones. According to the BBC, there are now (2010) over 5 billion mobile phone users in the world.
Many users in Europe and the United States are already users of the fixed internet when they first try the same experience on a mobile phone. Meanwhile, in other parts of the world, such as India, their first usage of the internet is on a mobile phone. Growth is fastest in parts of the world where the personal computer (PC) is not the first user experience of the internet. India, South Africa, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia are seeing the fastest growth in mobile internet usage. To a great extent this is due to the rapid adoption of mobile phones themselves. For example, the Morgan Stanley report states that the highest mobile phone adoption growth in 2006 was in Pakistan and India.
China has 155 million mobile internet users as of June, 2009. Despite the large number of mobile internet users in China, revenues from mobile ecommerce are only expected to reach 55 million RMB in 2009.
AMD, the semiconductor manufacturer, is predicting that, by 2015, 50% of the world will have an internet connection. Much of their initiative centres around the introduction of cheap PCs to the developing world, but the reality is much of the internet usage growth they predict will come from Mobile phones. Phone Count predicts that by 2012 there will be as many connected mobile phones as there are people in the world.