The Fourth Mobile Wave + history + facts

Let’s start with some facts:

  • Today, over 5 billion people are connected globally with mobile devices.
  • Mobile has gone through several distinct phases of evolution.
  •  Over 80% of the world’s population is communicating via mobile phones.
  • There are more iPhones sold than babies born every day
  • Apple sold 37.04M iPhones in fiscal Q1 of 2012, so there are 402k iPhones sold and the average number of people born in the World per day is 300k.


Click image for original location.


First phase = simply getting connected. Martin Cooper made the first mobile phone call on April 3, 1973.

Second phase = connecting by integrating wireless access methods such as 2G, 3G and Wi-Fi in devices.

Third phase (today) = connecting a broad range of mobile devices and wireless sensors – aka the Internet of Things and machine-to-machine (M2m).

Fourth phase (future and moving there now) = moving beyond basic connectivity to contextual connections to “real time experiences” where mobile, data and analytics will deliver meaningful and relevant communications.

If you haven’t read up on machine-to-machine technology, I suggest you go research it. One of the clients I work with on a daily basis is in M2M and it’s pretty fascinating what is being done every single day in this field.

What does this mean for everyone? Everything is going mobile. From the latest apps, to brand websites, to smartphones, etc… everything is mobile and mobile is important for brands, websites and browsing.

The statistics:

8% of all digital traffic comes from smartphones and tablets. I own an iPhone and an iPad and frequently browse more on both than my MacBook Pro lately.

59% of mobile consumers do their shopping via their mobile device at home.

PayPal is expected to reach $10 Billion in mobile payment transactions for 2012

75% of the word has access to a mobile phone.

Think about it – if you’re shopping or think of a random purchase you want to make while you are out, you immediately go research on your phone. I even research other prices and more about the product while I’m in the store. It’s a shift.

We solve problems, communicate, look up information and so much more on our smartphones.  Half of my social media activity is done from my iPhone. They really are a lifeline.

It’s something we should all consider when we’re looking at a new social, PR or marketing strategy.


Sources for this post:

Forbes – Marissa Mayer, Yahoo! and the Fourth Mobile Wave by Maribel Lopez
The Next Web – There are now more iPhones sold than babies born in the world every day by Matthew Panzarino
Mashable – 75% of World Has Access to Mobile Phones [STUDY] by Alex Fitzpatrick
Mobile Marketing Watch – PayPal to Reach $10 Billion in Mobile Payment Transactions for 2012 by  Michael


Mobile Marketing Watch – 10 reasons to have a mobile site
Mashable – The mobile lives of college students
Mashable – Are you afraid of mobile phone separation?
Digital Buzz Blog – The rise of mobile
Media Bistro – Social media and the growth of mobile marketing

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