Mobile Influx Fuels Development of Internet’s Leap Forward


Has your smartphone become so ingrained into your daily routine it’s hard to imagine a day without it?

Blogger Jodi Flaherty turns her smartphone on to read blogs and search recipes. DOT specialist Brandy Pettigrew uses hers for “the occasional pointless Wiki search.”

“The better question is, what don’t I use it for?” asks single mom Erica West. These women represent a mainstreaming of managing life with screen taps on mobile apps.

Results of an Internet report show a swing toward mobile phone reliance. These devices have become central to communication, entertainment and daily life. How will that impact online commerce and growth?

Access Encourages Activity

In 1995, mobile phones were mammoth, but we didn’t know it. They looked like cordless phones, with long, flexible antennas. They had no text capability yet, and the ‘end call’ beep became the sound bite of a generation. Clamshell phones were still a year away! Mobile phones had a 1% global penetration.

In 2014, it’s tough to even find a clamshell phone. Apple and Android devices dominate the market. Vendors shipped 281.5 million devices in Q1, says the International Data Corp. Apps have become a way of life in a tap-and-swipe society. Mobile phone global penetration ballooned to 73%.

This significant boom explains why Internet use continues to rise, according to the 2015 Internet Report. Venture capital firm KPCB began the annual report 20 years ago, to focus on global Internet trends. The latest edition sees a significant correlation between 24/7 Internet access on mobile devices and booming e-commerce.

Activity Creates Commerce

The digital revolution hit warp speed as Internet-enabled devices mobilized.

Boston Consulting Group advises many Fortune 500 companies. It reports mobile Internet’s advancement on the marketplace brings with it colossal trends. The biggest: $700 billion in annual revenues for mobile Internet commerce. That figure comes from the group of 13 countries that compile 70% of the world GDP.

Consumer satisfaction is high. “Consumer surplus” represents the value consumers believe they get over and above the amount they pay for Internet devices, apps, services and access. The BCG reported annual consumer surplus reached $3.5 trillion in 2014 and averaged $4,000 per person.

Mobile Internet’s Future

Mobile’s reach has a major influence on the trajectory of the Internet’s growth.

Right now, Internet users Web users pull what they need from the web. If they instructions on how to play an instrument or a self-defense technique, they can pull where to find this info with a few keystrokes in a search engine window. In the future, site and app developers hope to push data toward the consumer instead. The course of Internet development leans toward bringing the consumer what they need, sometimes before they even know they need it.

Imagine a sneaker company that knows your size and when you need a replacement pair of running shoes, or a favorite restaurant that knows when you’re in the neighborhood.

Experts predict the Internet will undergo a transformation in the next decade that is all about catering to us, instead of waiting for us to search. This innovation will usher in a new Internet era – and it all started with mobile phones.

The Future Of Mobile May Not Look Like Apps


About Author


Eli studied English and Religious Studies at UNC Charlotte. A former sportswriter, he writes a blog about coaching his daughters in soccer and once was mistaken for racecar driver Juan Pablo Montoya. He writes on the Internet and other technology. He’s a native of Greeley, Colo., an avid NPR listener and average disc golfer.

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