Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Mobile Internet report: some interesting insights

In this age of information overload, it is very easy to miss this comprehensive report by Mary Meeker of Morgan Stanley. It is a solid and very detailed work! Basically, the theme of the report is about the growth of mobile which will be much bigger than any of us can imagine.  This new technology cycle is compared with what Windows 3 did for the PC in 1990 and Netscape browser did for desktop internet in 1995. And how the mobile internet has potential to create/destroy more wealth than prior computing cycles!

The report is well supported by solid research and numbers to back the analysis and forecasts. It took me some time to go through it but it was worth it as it gave me some interesting insights. In general, if it comes to mobile, we don't need to read a report to predict the future - we just have to look around and see what/how everyone is using these smart devices. I will skip the obvious like the spark created by iphone, 100k+ apps etc. but there are still few interesting facts such as:
  • 5 trends converging - 3G + social networking + video+ VOIP + impressive mobile devices
  • 57 m iphone +163% growth, 125k developers worldwide, 2B+ downloads
  • Many consumers are finding that their online usage rises dramatically when they have 24*7 mobile access to cloud based stuff
  • Growth/monetization roadmap for mobile is provided by Japan
  • Physical products are gaining share in mobile ecommerce - 20% in Japan but less than 1% in US
  • China leads world in virtual good monetization
  • Google (Android) has the best chance to to serve as a more open counter-balance to apple. Opera leading transformation of mobile browsers
  • Professional content repository is still open - amazon, iphone, netflix, hulu?
  • Open mobile web potentially more attractive to developers - Apple may believe its platform management is prudent way to ensure high quality content but it also runs the risk of stifling development and innovation
  • Clouds will be providing real infrastructure for mobile applications
  • Location aware ads will be better targetted
  • People are more willing to pay for content on mobile than desktop
  • AT&T - 50* mobile traffic growth in last three years despite only 40% subscriber growth over the same period
  • Shift in type of applications from games, lifestyle, utilities, enterptainment etc. to business oriented though among the top 100 applications on iphone, business oriented applications are just five
  • Daily usage for productivity based applications is probably less than 5-6 %
I wish there was little more information about the user profile but I still consider it the best work by Mary Meeker after her famous Internet report in 1994. Since new business models are often created during technology changes so there is an opportunity for eveyone inlcuding Semantic Technology to take advantage of this booming market because:
  •  Browser still remains the weakest link in these devices. There is no integrated/personalized experience.
  • The principles of end user interaction have not been established
  • Semantic search will become more relevant as users will have less tolerance for too many results.
  • Semantic and location specific advertising will have a role to play
  • Cloud computing will be one of the biggest enabler of writing semantic applications for mobile devices as computing power will no longer be an issue for even smaller shops
  • Semantic web powered commerce can also be triggered
  • Agent technology should find better business cases
Obviously, any analyst report will not be specific about the type of future applications/services which will reside in these mobile devices. That job is for innovators to figure out!
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  1. Interesting report Priyank, thanks for this.

  2. Great Report, Log of information for Mobile Industry, Is is sure to boom mobile search indury and mobile advertising near 1212.

  3. interesting report - though there are some numbers that may report more of a vision than reality: check page 59 - This far - at least the studies made by the Nokia researchers - are telling us that there are many handset features (like packet data or MMS) that are reaching 70-80% market penetration in some markets and thus nearing saturation - BUT - at the same time - feature penetration does not mean adoption - i.e. 60% of those users who have a handset with those features never use them. Now if what the slide 59 says is true this seems to be not the case among US iPhone users? I wonder what does the small print in the lower right corner actually mean - "iPhone time spent per day is our estimates"?