Have got we reached peak smartphone, and exactly what does that mean for marketers?

Kleiner Perkins’ Mary Meeker’ s highly expected kitchen-sink compendium of third-party statistics dropped yesterday. Amidst the barrage of data was the following: worldwide smartphone shipments grew zero % in 2017. Many others have already directed to this observation with some mixture of shock and alarm.

Meeker also cites data that the typical selling price of smartphones is decreasing. That’ s largely a perform of the need to produce lower-cost gadgets for developing markets. So really does all this mean we’ ve achieved “ peak smartphone? ” If you do, what does that mean for marketers?

In the US, the Pew Research Center  found that 95 percent of US grown ups now have mobile phones and 77 of these people have smartphones. That leaves approximately 17 percent who have yet in order to “ upgrade. ” Most of those individuals tend to be older (above 50). The particular smartphone penetration rate is eighty-five percent and above for those below 49. This data directionally appears to confirm the Meeker observation.

The Pew data indicates some growth is possible among old users in the US. However , the most sought-after consumer segments (18- to 49-year-olds) are near saturation. Therefore , the particular battle there is for “ switchers” and upgrades.

The contrasting data point cited simply by Meeker is that internet penetration offers reached about  50 percent of the worldwide population, making growth harder to get. This leads inevitably to a half-empty, half-full interpretation. I would argue that as the remaining opportunity is not 50 percent, it’ s also not 10 percent. Appropriately, there is room for new internet users — and the majority of those will likely be mobile phone users first and foremost.

One more bit of positive news is that period spent with digital media proceeds grow, and smartphones continue to rule that time. Time spent accessing the web through smartphones saw incremental development compared with flat to declining development for desktop and laptop computers. Particularly noteworthy in the chart below is usually growth in time spent with wise speakers (other connected devices).

So where does all this creates, and how should marketers respond? In a single sense, there’ s nothing to find out here. I would submit the following:

  • There’ s nevertheless meaningful global headroom for web growth, which will be via smartphone.
  • The US market is close to smartphone saturation, but usage have not peaked.
  • Time invested with digital media will carry on and grow on non-PC devices: mobile phones, smart speakers and other connected products.
  • Most digital ad revenue development is coming from mobile , which will continue into the foreseeable future.
  • Revenues at Google, Facebook, Amazon . com and other large publishers are progressively mobile.
  • Future web commerce growth will be driven more simply by mobile than the PC.
  • Social commerce will be dominated simply by mobile.

You might not agree with all of these bullets, but one of the various digital platforms and stations, mobile will be dominant for the near future, although smart speaker and intelligent displays will see more growth, from a smaller base.

Internet marketers must therefore continue to focus on mobile phones as the primary internet device. This means simplifying and improving mobile consumer experiences for customers — especially like a loyalty tool. The bottom line is this: There’ s no reason to change training course. Everyone must still optimize meant for mobile; that’ s where development and opportunity remain.


About The Author

Greg Sterling is a Contributing Editor at Internet search engine Land. He writes a personal weblog, Screenwerk , about connecting the dots between digital media and real-life consumer behavior. He is also VP of Strategy and Insights for that Local Search Association. Follow your pet on Tweets or find your pet at Google+ .

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