Will cellular phones become the computer of choice for most people? With 6 billion phones vs 1.2 billion computers the question may have already been answered.
There are seven billion people in the world yet there are only 1.2 billion computers, according to All Things D. However, there are nearly 6 billion cellular phones, many of which have the ability to browse the internet from handheld devices rather than formally sitting down in front of a computer. In fact, according to a graph from Mary Meeker’s 2012 Internet Trends presentation, mobile internet traffic in India surpassed desktop traffic in April of 2012 and the gap between the two has only widened since. Meeker’s study goes on to state that mobile internet use worldwide will surpass desktop use by 2014. Considering current desktop internet traffic is more highly monetized than mobile internet usage, this means there is a lot of money that can be made in the mobile browser space. It also means being on the internet has become even more seamlessly integrated into our everyday lives, as easy as reaching into your pocket and pressing gently on a screen.
How Mobile Advancements Are Making This Possible
Technological advancement has helped to make browsing the web via mobile phone easier and more convenient than on a computer. This is due to better smart phone technologies with faster processors, more internet access everywhere through 3G and 4G systems, and cloud computing, which allows mobile phones that lack good bandwidth and power computing to not have to download as much information with each page reload. Not only is is mobile internet usage often faster, it’s also less expensive in many countries. For example, according to All Things D, a 2 megabyte web page in China can cost as much as ten dollars just to open from a desktop internet connection. However, it’s nothing more than a small piece of a data plan when opening this site via cellular phone in China. Therefore, mobile is the obvious choice for large low-income populations in highly populous developing nations.
Creating a Mobile Community
While there are obviously a booming number of mobile internet users to computer internet users around the world, it still feels like mobile internet usage is the stepchild of using the internet via computer. However, companies like Buzzwire have been trying to change that by creating a mobile browsing community, by directing user to the best mobile websites online. By forming these guides for mobile browsing, a new type of internet browser has essentially been created, meant exclusively for people who are surfing the internet via smart phone. Considering how many people are using mobile browsing for the majority of their internet surfing, one could easily argue that mobile browsers will one day become king. Using a computer to surf the internet may actually be considered old-fashioned.