There is no denying that the use of mobile devices has increased dramatically in recent years. More and more people have smartphones and they want to access the Internet on the go. Recent studies show that mobile Internet use is expected to grow by 40 percent by 2015.
Given the lower pricing, ease of use, the apps available and the improving networks, businesses need a strong presence on the mobile Web. Internationally many people access the Web for the first time via a phone.
Mobile Growth Trends
Mobile marketing firm IDC has estimated that the usage of smart phones and tablets will increase by as much 16 percent each year from 2012 to 2016 with a growth of more than 40% by 2015. During that time, nearly another .5 billion people worldwide will gain some form of access to the worldwide web reaching more than 2.7 billion users.
As more people begin to use their Internet-enabled smartphones and tablets to surf the web, the use of desktop computers and wired connections will see a decrease. While these may still have a place in the home or office, they may cease to be the primary source for Internet browsing.
Mobile phone companies around the world are increasing their access points and the speed of their networks, shrinking the difference in performance between a home connection and mobile Internet. Smartphones are also increasingly offering better resolution and features without an increase in price.
There is no doubt that the public-at-large are highly reliant upon the Internet, whether for duties relating to work, for entertainment, or for quick information. One of the biggest selling points for mobile Internet is the ease of access and portability. There is no need to be in a wifi hotspot–although many smart phones and tablets can access the Internet through wifi–or to be connected to a modem in any way. And with a mobile device, whether you are at the pool, at the ball game, or out of town, you can still be online.
Then, there are the apps. A browse through the various app stores online will show that there practically is an app for everything. These applications may do something as minor as playing a funny noise or simulating a guitar. Others provide GPS turn-by-turn directions or access reference materials for a business or university.
Some can even be used as classroom companions to enhance students’ learning. Many of the most popular apps, however, are actually games specially designed for play on a smart phone or tablet. Research shows that apps are how the majority of users access programs and the Web with smartphones.
What Does it Mean for Business?
Not only will the rise in mobile mean a greater focus on mobile networks for the various companies and their customers, but it will mean a shift in how the Internet looks and operates. More websites and software will begin to tailor themselves to the mobile market rather than just traditional computers and laptops and the number and types of apps that will be available will only increase, as will the speed and capacity of the devices used to run them.
As mobile Internet use increases and the capabilities of smartphones and tablets grow, it is difficult to predict just what changes will be in store for the web, but they certainly will be coming and will change how we view the Internet. If your business’ website is not mobile ready and optimized for smaller browser windows, it’s time to get busy preparing and planning for the future.