Mobile subscriptions will reach almost ten billion by 2019, according to projections in Ericsson’s latest Mobility Report. The majority of these subscriptions will be tied to smartphones (as opposed to tablets, for example), thanks to a projected tripling in smartphone subscriptions and tenfold increase in smartphone traffic.
Those are some pretty bold numbers, right? Well, you’ll be happy to hear that they didn’t come out of thin air. While smartphones are currently around 25-30% of the mobile market, in the last quarter, 55% of all devices sold were smartphones. Thus, the hard data is already there when it comes to the smartphone takeover.
It’s already happened.
All that remains is for aggregate numbers to begin reflecting the current buying activity in the mobile marketplace.
Why have smartphones become the device of choice?
The change may be due to a few key advances in technology. At this point, the performance of smartphone browsing, gaming, and video watching have brought the experience near enough to the traditional experience to make large numbers of users dedicate a growing portion of their computing time to their smartphones. Coupled with price drops and the availability of high speed unlimited data plans and extensive Wi-Fi coverage, a lot of the necessary pieces have fallen into place to make smartphones the industry leader.
Why is this important to businesses?
Everything we do comes back to SMBs, and this data drives home our core message (as if it needed further driving home): the world has gone mobile, and businesses must keep up if they want to stay in touch with the market.
Simply having a website doesn’t cut it anymore – not when a majority of Internet visitors will be browsing your site on a smartphone. Sites absolutely have to be mobile-optimized, or when people arrive at your virtual doorstep, they’ll take one look at the place and then turn right back around.
This also shows how big an opportunity mobile apps are. Most of your target market will soon have a smartphone in hand (if they don’t already). Simply because of the numbers that are (and will be) present in the mobile user base, connecting via an app is one of the most cost effective ways available to increase sales (through mobile loyalty programs, push notifications of offers, direct sales and bookings, etc.), customer satisfaction (through mobile support tabs, quick-reference info, etc.), and engagement (through social media, contests, etc.).