Today’s presentation is going to be on the growth of the mobile industry as a whole, and as a result, the growing need for mobile web developers. The mobile industry’s growth in the past few years has been explosive. More people now than ever are using mobile devices to browse the web, consume media, social network, and download and use apps. As more and more people own smart phones and the growth of public Wi-Fi connectivity increases and high speed networks improve, more companies will be forced to develop mobile websites and applications to keep consumers engaged. Additionally, this has fueled the growth of many mobile focused startups such as Flipboard and Foursquare. As mobile growth has exploded, it has changed not only the way people interact with the web but also how they shop. Mobile usage will continue to increase in the future and create tremendous opportunities for advertisers, publishers and most importantly, mobile website and application developers.
Almost 42% of all the mobile users, or about 98 million subscribers in the United States, use smartphones. There are over 400 different smartphone devices, and the leaders of the industry are Google with their Android platform, taking almost half the market share in the US, with Apples IOS taking about 30%. The total number of smart phone users continues to rise year over year, with last July being the first month ever that the number of smart phones purchases exceeded all other mobile purchases, and by the end of last year almost 60% of all mobile devices bought were smart phones. There is no reason to believe that this trend will slow down anytime soon, and smartphones will eventually become the new standard.
Mobile users engage in a wide variety of activities, from surfing the web and accessing social networking sites, to shopping and downloading content. Nearly twice as many smartphone users are downloading and playing games compared to last year. Streaming online music or radio is the third fastest growing activity among smartphone users and App downloads are up 53%. Companies and Brands are recognizing the importance of this new growing trend and trying to capture their share of the market by creating mobile websites and mobile applications. Mobile websites are different than traditional websites in that they are specifically designed to be viewed and interacted with from a smartphone device.
For many technology and internet companies, more traffic is starting to come in through the mobile avenue vs. the traditional web. For example, Twitter’s mobile traffic is up to 55% and Pandora is up to 60%, and Facebook is seeing the same trend where about 350 million of its 800 million active users access the site through mobile channels. Similarly, Groupon reported in December that nearly a fifth of its vouchers sold were via mobile channels. More companies are being forced to create mobile websites in an effort to not to miss out on this growing opportunity. A study last year found that 61% of mobile users won’t return to a site if they have trouble accessing it from their phone, highlighting how important it is for companies to build out clean and intuitive mobile websites and the need for developers specializing in mobile languages such as WML and XHMTL.
In addition to the growth of mobile websites, the mobile app market has been exploding as well. A study found that iPhone users had an average of 44 apps and Android users had an average of 32 apps. YouTube was the top app for the iPhone, followed by Google Maps, Facebook, and Yahoo! Other top apps include popular games such as Angry Birds and Words with Friends.
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