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April 14, 2010

Mobile web bigger than desktop internet by 2015

Nokia-2015-satnavGLOBAL – Within the next five years the mobile web will be bigger than the desktop internet according to a new report by Morgan Stanley, as reported today on Mashable. The 87-page report is rammed full of facts and figures, but the one that interests me is the one in this story’s headline. Nokia has talked for a good while now about how the majority of the world’s population will experience the internet for the first time on their mobile devices. And, with devices such as the Nokia C3 heading people’s way soon, it’s no surprise either, really.

How the mobile internet will impact around the world is an interesting thing to contemplate, particularly when we consider emerging markets which, as Mashable points out, still have single digit percentage penetration of 3G. But consider services such as Nokia Life Tools. With SMS as the basis for communication with the device, the information being sent is itself coordinated and sent from what is in effect, the internet. Does that constitute an internet experience?

In the developed world services such as Ovi Maps are rapidly changing how we interact with our devices. Of course, you can use Ovi Maps without any connection at all, to the internet or the cell network, but connect to both and the experience is enhanced substantially (finding stuff local to where you are, and of course just being able to communicate!).

I’ve believed for a long while now, and this is again a Nokia mantra (internet of things, anyone?) that the internet experience on a mobile device will be vastly different to the one we experience on the desktop. It isn’t just about typing a URL into a browser and going to a website. It’s using the internet for what it’s best at (moving information from one place to another) and matching that with the best skills of the device to hand.

See what Nokia thinks the world will look like in 2015

Mashable cites the report’s inclusion of a wide variety of internet-based devices to come up with the bigger-than-the-desktop figure for 2015. Things like book readers, tablets, GPS devices and even wireless home appliances as being pretty influential, along with online services, in driving the growth. Good thing MeeGo is gathering pace then, it seems.

The mobile web is like the second coming of the internet. There’s little doubt that, with an already installed base in excess of 4 billion users, it’s going to be bigger, better and much more exciting than the desktop equivalent. And I can’t wait. How about you?