The next 4 years is set to be the golden period for Internet growth the world over and as expected th access to internet via mobile is set to be the driving force for the growth.
As of this year there are 450 million mobile Internet users worldwide but this number is expected to touch 1 billion by the end of 2013 according to a report by IDC. The key driving factors of this would be affordability of smartphones and nose diving data charges.
Just A Number Increase Or A Usage Shift?
The report states that currently the most popular online activities of mobile internet as same as those of PC Internet users i.e. using search engines, reading news and sports information, downloading music and videos, and sending/receiving email and instant messages. But over the next four years these activities are set to change to making online purchases, participating in online communities, and creating blogs. Also from a B2B perspective accessing online business applications and corporate email systems will grow substantially.
Some key statistics:
* Currently 1/4th of the world i.e. 1.6 billion people have used the internet but by 2013, over 2.2 billion people i.e. more than one third of the world’s population is expected to be using the Internet.
* China has 359 million in 2009 which is expected to grow to 566 million by 2013. The United States has 261 million Internet users in 2009 which will reach 280 million in 2013. India is expected to double its internet reach from 2009 and 2013.
* Presently, the United States has far more total devices connected to the Internet than any other country. China, however, is the leader in in the number of mobile online devices with almost 85 million mobile devices connected to the Internet in 2009. The number of Internet devices in India, both mobile and fixed, is expected to grow commensurate with the number of Internet users.
* Even worldwide purchases online is set to double from $8 trillion to worth more than $16 trillion.
* Digital advertising which is currently pegged at $61 billion in 2009 will almost double to $100 billion worldwide.
As one can see from the statistics above next 4 years could bring a gold rush for online businesses in general. At twice the current internet penetration India could very well be close to 100 million internet users by 2010 assuming we are about 50 million right now. That is surely a critical mass as far as ecommerce and digital advertising is concerned and if you are looking to startup then today might be a good day to start as 4 years down you would be looking at a sizable opportunity if the above numbers are to be believed.