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What the Meeker Report Doesn't Say: An Internet Tsunami Is Coming

If each cycle of computing--PC, desktop Internet, mobile--yields 10 times the user base, whatever's next could be not just huge, but actually ubiquitous.

It's that special time of the year. Mary Meeker, the Kleiner Perkins partner and internet analyst perhaps best known now for her annual "State of the Internet" report, released that very slide deck Wednesday. It contains the usual: mobile growth is strong tablets are selling like hotcakes.

It also included a basic--but sort of fascinating--chart.


Each new computing cycle typically generates about 10 times the installed base of the previous cycle. In 1990 that was the PC. Then in 2000 the desktop Internet. Now, the mobile Internet. But as we rocket toward 2020, you can bet the next wave of computing is going to be a tsunami.

And with that, consider: China is rising fast. Not only are 80 percent of Chinese Internet users on mobile, but also more of the top internet properties are based outside of the United States.

Any predictions?

Here are some other points from Meeker's trends report that stood out:

  • Health care is increasingly costly for businesses, which spent $620 billion on employee health care. Costs are up 28 percent from five years ago.
  • Money is being reimagined. We knew this, but the numbers are significant: About 5 million Bitcoin wallets exist, up eight times year-over-year.
  • Messaging and communication is shifting back from social graph to phone book. Look to WhatsApp, Tencent's WeChat, and Snapchat growth for evidence.
  • Mobile growth is very strong. Tablets are selling like hotcakes.
  • Cybersecurity threats are on the rise, with more than 95 percent of networks having been compromised in some way. And direct attacks are expected to rise as mobile platforms grow.

Here's the full report. Click through and let us know what you think are the most important takeaways--and what's missing. 

Last updated: May 28, 2014

CHRISTINE LAGORIO-CHAFKIN | Staff Writer | Senior Writer

Christine Lagorio-Chafkin is a writer, editor, and reporter whose work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Village Voice, and The Believer, among other publications. She is a senior writer at Inc.

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