Wednesday, October 17, 2012

1 billion smartphones in use

Next time you take public transit, take a look around.  See how many internet-connected devices that you can count.  In U.S. about 50% of all mobile devices have internet connectivity.  The number in the outside of U.S. is little lower.  According to the latest  research from Strategy Analytics, there are about 1 billion smartphones being used in the world.

What is remarkable is that number of smartphones is expected to reach 2 billion within the next 3 years.  Considering that it took 16 years to reach 1 billion smartphones since the first smartphone's launch in 1996, Nokia 9000 Communicator, adoption of internet-enabled devices is expected to accelerate by more than four times.

.The first smartphone ever, Nokia 9000 Communicator.
It featured dual screen with qwerty keyboard when flipped open.

That's a lot of smartphones.  But what's interesting is that the line between smartphone and other computing devices are getting blurred.

As smartphone capability increases and prices drop, there are many in-between devices getting introduced.  These are devices that fall somewhere between smartphone and tablet form factor, such as Google Nexus 7, Amazon Kindle Fire, and soon-to-be-introduced mini iPad.

It's only natural to expect this trend will continue and even accelerate to fuel the smartphone and other internet-connected devices' popularity.  Within this decade, most of devices that we interact with will have some internet connectivity.  Networking connectivity will be considered just like electricity.  If a device does not interact with you in a way that you are accustomed to interacting with your 'home' device, the device may be considered as obsolete as land-line phone without any phone number memorized.

Who would carry a list of phone numbers when you can pick up any phone and instantly access your address book?  Who would use those phones that do not offer access to your address book?  Would you even know by heart what number to dial?

Devices without connectivity will soon become relics.

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