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The Coming Wave of Mobile Internet

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.

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