You Don’t Understand How Big Mobile Really Is

If you did, your company would put other web initiatives on hold and scramble to launch the best mobile experience for your industry.

With mobile smartphone use growing at such an astounding pace, I’m constantly amazed that there are still so many top-tier companies that do not have a dedicated mobile website experience. I believe that this rapid growth seems to be outpacing many  IT and marketing executives’ ability to digest and grasp how mobile is going to drastically affect their business growth – particularly in the consumer space.

With mobile, the year 2012 will be a unique parallel to 1996-97, when many industry titans were caught with their pants down by the speed at which web use grew, and were unable to launch a compelling website faster than their competitors.

Let me throw some facts out there that should cause pause:

  • This past quarter, Apple sold 62 million iOS devices – and  over 100,000 more iPhones were sold per day than people born in the world per day. In December, Android activations also outpaced births by around 2:1. Apple had the second most-profitable quarter in the history of the US, and was averaging $144,444.44 in profits per day, mostly from the sale of iOS devices.
  • During this past year’s holiday season, purchases made via a mobile device grew by 172.9%, and 7% of online purchases were made via an iPad – a device that didn’t exist 18 months earlier.
  • YouTube says that the switch from primarily PC use to mobile use for online video will definitely happen by 2013, and may happen sooner.
  • app.ft.com, the iOS only version of the Financial Times, has over 1 million registered users, who account for 20% of all page views and 15% of new digital subscriptions. Those who register their device are 2.5 times more likely to subscribe, and 45% of users add the app to their home screen.
  • The Weather Channel had 1.3 billion mobile page views in October 2011, compared to 1.1 billion desktop views. They predict that mobile use will outpace TV in less than two years.
  • And Facebook says that 350 million of their 800 million monthly active users are checking their statuses via a mobile device. CTO Bret Taylor says, “A few years from now, most every single person at Facebook who works there is going to be working on mobile almost exclusively.” and “Companies really need to redefine themselves in this world of devices rather than browsers on people’s laptops.”

A great transition is happening on the web right now, as our devices redefine how we consume and use information. Due to location and context capabilities, mobile users will want different things from your site, so simply making a mobile copy of your desktop website may not be enough.

Luckily, the tools and knowledge are available to help your company become mobile-friendly. Building a mobile-ready site doesn’t have to be expensive and cumbersome, but it does need to be a priority… probably your top priority.

Related: Check out our What is Responsive Design? series for strategies to build a site that looks great on all devices.

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  1. Jason Bedient

    Apr 9, 2012 3:09 pm

    Great article Aaron. Those are some crazy statistics.

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