INSIGHT

Mobile ate the world...

And the path to the future

“Is Netflix a threat?” Back in 2010, some brave soul posed this question to Time Warner CEO, Jeffrey Bewkes.

His response pulled no punches: “Is the Albanian army going to take over the world?”

Ouch. And yet with the hindsight of the intervening years, Bewkes’ arrogance is clear. In August, Netflix was placed fifteenth on the Forbes list of the world’s most innovative companies (Tesla Motors came first) and is currently valued at around $41.1bn – more than ten times its $3.9bn valuation in April 2010. What a difference six years makes.

The Jeffrey Bewkes story features on Mobile is Eating the World, a new slide presentation by Silicon Valley-based technology investor and writer, Benedict Evans. Evans contends that the web-fuelled disruption that made Mr Bewkes eat his words is continuing at a greater pace than ever before. Why? Because...

With 5.5bn people aged over 14 globally, of whom 2.5bn have smartphones, we are already halfway to the whole of the world’s adult population being connected. That statistic alone makes us shudder with excitement.

 
 

With such massive smartphone uptake, which Evans points out far exceeds the success of PCs, the potential of an always connected global population is pretty mindboggling. Evans’ slideshow, which is admittedly not always a light read, explores what this will mean for our lives and for enterprise, giving examples of how quickly things are changing. Already almost 60 per cent of time spent online in the USA is on smartphone apps. Facebook accounts for 15 to 20 per cent of mobile usage, making it the largest mobile web browser. And who knew that Amazon is the fourth largest clothing retailer in the USA?

Evans shows that mobile hasn’t just eaten the world, it is chomping its way to the future – and everyone with a smartphone is invited to dinner.

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