Mobile web will be much bigger than desktop internet

The mobile arena is entering a bigger space with the explosion of smart phones – phones that are used not only for voice but also for data. And with the continuous popularity of the internet mainly due to richer applications (both for business and personal), a device that is capable of connecting to the web is fast becoming a major attraction to a demanding consumer market.

What does the future holds for the mobile web?

Morgan Stanley released “The Mobile Internet Report,” a comprehensive overview of the rapidly changing mobile internet market composed by our global technology and telecom analysts.

“We believe more users may connect to the Internet via mobile devices than desktop PCs within five years,” said Mary Meeker, leader of Morgan Stanley’s global tech research team. “We use a data-rich, theme-based framework for thinking about how the rapidly emerging and changing mobile Internet may evolve”.

Other findings:

– Material wealth creation / destruction should surpass earlier computing cycles. The mobile Internet cycle, the fifth cycle in 50 years, is just starting. Winners in each cycle often create more market capitalization than in the last. New winners emerge, some incumbents survive — or thrive — while many past winners falter.

– The mobile Internet is ramping faster than desktop Internet did, and we believe more users may connect to the Internet via mobile devices than desktop PCs within five years.

– Five IP-based products / services are growing / converging and providing the underpinnings for dramatic growth in mobile Internet usage — 3G adoption + social networking + video + VoIP + impressive mobile devices.

– Apple + Facebook platforms serving to raise the bar for how users connect / communicate — their respective ramps in user and developer engagement may be unprecedented.

– Decade-plus Internet usage / monetization ramps for mobile Internet in Japan plus desktop Internet in developed markets provide roadmaps for global ramp and monetization.
– Massive mobile data growth is driving transitions for carriers and equipment providers.

– Emerging markets have material potential for mobile Internet user growth. Low penetration of fixed-line telephone and already vibrant mobile value-added services mean that for many EM users and SMEs, the Internet will be mobile.

Morgan Stanley added that Apple is in the “pole position” in the race to dominate mobile Internet computing, which is supposed to be for the 2000s what desktop Internet computing was for the 1990s, personal computing for the 1980s, mini computing for the 1970s, and mainframe computing for the 1960s.

Apple has a two or three-year lead, thanks to an installed base of 57 million handsets, 100,000 apps and 200 million iTunes subscribers with credit card numbers on file.

Mobile internet will be everywhere, and it will really be big. And it will even get bigger once WiMax becomes available here in the Philippines. Now that is one development everyone should be excited about.

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