This is a guest post by our CMO – Marcia Kadanoff.
I’ve long been of the opinion that we are getting close to a tipping point, where it makes sense in some parts of the world to develop for the mobile web first and develop for the desktop web second or not of all. Facts and data are your friends – of course. So I thought I’d do a round up of the data sources available to understand what is going on with mobile, mobile data, and smart phone penetration in just 4 geographies: Germany, Brazil, China, and India.
Here’s the best data sources I found and what I learned.
- Chetan Sharma Consulting, Annual State of the Global Mobile Industry | April 2012
Data and strong interpretation of what the data tells us. Worth reading cover to cover.
- Global mobile statistics | June 2012
Round up from multiple sources
- Ericcson Traffic and Market Report | June 2012
Surveys carriers and provides a 5-year forecast
Relatively new site that rounds up otherwise hard to find data on mobile.
- Connected Europe: How Smartphones and Tablets are Shifting Media Consumption – January 2012
Comscore study based on its proprietary sample. Free for download.
- Our Mobile Planet – Germany
Google did the same smart phone survey in multiple countries and came to much the same results in each country, which seems a bit suspect to me. This looks and feels like advertising versus value added content. Useful as a source of data on smart phone market share (penetration) by country.
We are not yet at a tipping point where it makes sense to develop for the mobile web ONLY and forego developing content for viewing from a desktop computer. The major issue seems to be China and India, both of which are large markets, both of which are rapidly adopting smart phones, both of which are putting in the infrastructure to support always on and high-speed networks. However, the low-end of these markets remains on feature phones. What this means for your content development needs? It depends on who and what you are targeting. While you can “browse” the web using a feature phone, the browsing experience is sub par. For the next 5 years (at least), we expect to see content developed for the desktop web AND the mobile web. Not for the mobile web alone.
What do you think?