How Mobile is Changing Industries and Our Habits

by Istvan Fekete on February 19, 2013

If there is one topic everybody in the digital business will talk about this year, it is mobile. A recent report signed by comScore puts mobile into perspective by looking back at 2012 and forecasts what will happen in 2013.

What the study shows is what happening in our lives: It reflects the movement toward mobile from shopping through to media and search. According to the report: “2013 could spell a very rocky economic transition, and businesses will have to scramble to stay ahead of consumers’ changing behaviour.”

But let’s look at the facts the comScore report reveals. Mobile transition is happening amazingly quickly: You may recall that both comScore and Nielsen have reported that smartphone penetration has crossed 50% for the first time, driven by Android phones, which currently account for 70% of the global smartphone market, followed by iOS with 21.1% (Q4 2012 data).

As a result, mobile devices — both smartphones and tablets — grabbed 37% the total time spent online, while desktop computers accounted for the remaining 63%, showing a downward trend. Behind the top 10 apps people use, we can see companies such as Facebook and Google: The Google Maps for iPhone grabbed the No. 1 spot after launch, only to lose it again to Facebook later on. Currently, Facebook reaches 76% of the smartphone market and accounts for 23% of the total time spent using apps on a monthly basis. Google follows behind, accounting for 10% of the time spent on apps.

As a result of this rapid mobile adoption, industries have been affected, seeing a decline in desktop use of their products: Newspapers, search engines, maps, weather, comparison shopping, directories, and instant messenger services as well.

Now, how is this this reflected on Canadian soil? A quick example could be how mobile is changing television. Canadians don’t limit their tablet or smartphone usage to browsing the Web. Turns out mobile devices are also great for watching TV, and especially for watching shows on demand.

The majority of Canadian networks offer apps that give users access to recent episodes of TV shows. Some applications which could be news or current event oriented are even offered over live streams and play whatever is showing on TV on a tablet or smartphone in real time. Pricing depends on the service provider.

As the recently published incumbents’ quarterly earnings show, smart mobile device penetration has passed the 60% milestone, driven by the popularity of smartphones and tablets, and I expect this trend to continue.

Written by: Istvan Fekete. Follow by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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