According to a recent report released by Ericsson ConsumerLab, demand for smartphones and mobile data is poised for extremely rapid growth in the next few years. Conceptually speaking, this is no surprise to industry insiders, but even so, the actual projects have raised a lot of eyebrows. Handset sales are expected to increase by 300 percent between now and 2019, while mobile data consumption will skyrocket tenfold over the same period.
To put that into perspective, Ericsson estimates that by 2019, there will be 9.3 billion network-connected mobile devices, with 5.6 billion of those being smartphones. That means the planet will have more active mobile phones than people. That’s great news for emerging tech companies, especially if they happen to be an iPhone app developer.
Right now, smartphones account for about 25 to 30 percent of connected mobile devices worldwide. That number is expected to jump to about 60 percent by 2019, meaning the smartphone industry is poised to double its market share in the coming years. Ericsson’s report anticipates that the lion’s share of this explosive growth will occur in emerging markets, such as China and India, since the European, Japanese, Korean, and North American markets are all approaching saturation.
In particular, Google and Nokia are leading the charge into emerging markets. Google has licensed the streamlining of the Android operating system’s code, allowing it to be modified for use on affordably priced handsets. Nokia is already manufacturing mobile phones and smartphones at entry-level price points with its eye on China, India, and other high-growth regions. Moreover, the smartphone revolution will continue to erode the market for high-end digital cameras, while sustaining increased demand for network coverage and data transmission capabilities.
From a local standpoint, this imminent explosion will create tremendous opportunities. An iPhone app developer in Chicago can focus on creating smartphone software that meets specific consumer needs in emerging markets, potentially striking it rich as hundreds of millions of new handsets are activated worldwide.
Ericsson Mobility Report video