Every year, former equity analyst and current venture capitalist Mary Meeker offers an in-depth look at Internet statistics and the meaning they have for the tech industry. But on Monday she gave an unexpected mid-year update largely focused on the mobile market and the speed at which it is changing.
Here are three points from her presentation that should be important to any entrepreneur, whether in the tech sector or not.
1. Mobile will bury the PC.
When some, like me, say that PCs will die, it doesn't mean disappear. There are things you can do only on a machine with enough power and screen real estate. However, that number is going to quickly get smaller than the number of mobile devices.
According to Meeker, by the end of 2013, there will be about 160 Android devices, 80 million iOS devices, and 100 million Windows devices shipping per quarter. That's 2.4 times as many "mobile operating system" products than the old Windows standard. Meeker also thinks that by the end of the second quarter in 2013, the installed base of tablets and smartphones will be larger than the installed PC base.
Have you been ignoring mobile? Then you're already behind the times and had best get a move on.
2. You cannot ignore tablets.
One of the impressive statistics from Meeker's review in May was the speed at which people were adopting iPads--three times the rate of iPhones. That number has increased, as iPad adoption is now five times as high as iPhones, and that doesn't include the new iPad Mini.
That said, this is a bigger phenomenon than even the hyper focus on Apple would suggest. According to market research firm IDC, Apple's third quarter tablet market share was 50%. Instead of seeing that as a diminution of the iMachine company, see it as an expansion of the overall market.
In other words, you can no longer afford to ignore the tablet as a medium, whether you create apps, deliver online services of any sort to customers, or market electronically.
3. "i" isn't enough.
A common mobile strategy you can see in the market is the focus on all things Apple. Walk into any electronics store and you will see racks, if not aisles, devoted to iThings. A big reason is the ability to address a large group of users with a small set of designs. The same is true for app design, where skipping Android avoids the variability you can find in the platform.
The desire for economy is understood. However, reality should kick in. Android smartphone adoption is growing six times faster than that of the iPhone. There are caveats you can apply from other data. For example, it will include many less expensive units and all sorts of global markets. But to assume you can ignore Android is to say you can safely avoid the biggest part of the potential market.