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« TomiAhonen Almanac 2016 Edition is Just Out - Get it while it's hot | Main | Smartphone Bloodbath Market Share Update Q1: All the Top 10 brands plus OS shares plus installed base »

May 09, 2016

Comments

Winter

I am going to break a blog rule by commenting before I have read all of this post (pressed for time).

"There are 5.0 unique paying mobile account-holders (postpaid or prepaid) who then when poor areas are included with shared phones, give mobile a total aggregate reach of 5.9 Billion humans. These are astounding numbers (and they keep growing)."

I think what you see here is the number one human drive: Communicate.

It is clear why refugees taking a boat over a treacherous sea are willing to leave everything behind, except their kids and their phone. Their phone is their lifeline. The same holds for whatever remote rural community you might envision. Phones can make a difference that counts to every human being: A relative or friend in need can be warned, helped, and saved. And on top of this, if you look around, it is clear that the meaning of life is to chat ;-)

What this means is that there will be a very, very strong drive towards getting every human soul connected, and get them connected 24/7. Not only for speech, but also networked. Facebook and Google have recognized that trend and that is why they are pushing for total connectivity. The first mover advantage will be incalculable.

I also think your joke of "we have reached ‘every economically viable’ person on the planet already" does not give the whole story. Many of the "non-economically viable" persons will indeed become economically viable when connected. Communication and information has a tendency to make people much more productive. That is one of the advantages of cities that is moving out to rural areas: Short lines of communication.

Even yesterday, there was a documentary on national TV here about this subject. It was really short-sighted, calling for "disconnect time" and deploring the profit driven works of Facebook and Google to extend the reach of the internet:
Offline as a luxury (in Dutch, but a lot of it is English with subtitles)
http://tegenlicht.vpro.nl/afleveringen/2015-2016/offline-als-luxe.html

My take-home message was: People will be online 24/7 because they want to be connected with their peers and loved ones 24/7, to the benefit of all involved. This will mean that everybody on the planet will end up 24/7 online very fast.

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Winter

Haha, good to point out about not reading the blog, and I'll forgive you for this once :-)

Actually you bring a very valuable point and angle that was not really in the blog, and let me immediately agree with essentially everything you said, but underline a few relevant points.

I first, agree that yes, everybody will become connected but a 1 year old who hasn't learned to speak has no need 'ever' of anything like what we consider and think of as a 'mobile' and even one imagined to be a toddler's first phone for say a 4 year old. There will be a genuine low-end barrier to where 'mobile' in the way to deliver communications can't go. BUT that there WILL be at least attempts to deliver 'connectivity' products even for babies still in their cribs. We already have for example 'intelligent diapers' that detect when a baby has gone to the toilet in the diaper, and sends an alert to the parent that now its time to change the baby. So while the baby itself cannot 'use' the mobile for communicating personally, a communciation can be generated on behalf of the baby, as if 'reading its mind' that it now needs to be changed. Daddy, mommy, I need new pants..

So I didn't mean to imply we are at or have reached the end of where mobile unique customer growth might stall. It won't. The last parts will grow the slowest, but we will connect everybody who wants to be conneced, and allowing, obviously, for some religious people with particular beliefs or hermits, etc to live their lives unencumbered by modern connectivity if they so desire. But it will be their choice, it won't be anymore a matter of economic selection where you need some level of affluence. Like we had in Finland, the first country to make the wireless internet a right of Finnish citizens. Everybody has a right to be connected.

On the overall priority on communications (over say the ability of computing or of media or payments) totally true. Its the communication power which sets mobile apart from other pocketable tech. Totally agree with you.

And of the national economic gains out of mobile - totally true, its been measured by the World Bank that the single best thing a nation can do to its economy is to improve mobile connectivity. That is even more useful than building roads or airports or the electrical grid etc.

Great comments, thanks. And enjoy the article in full when you have the time to read it.

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Wayne Borean


Talking about reasons for having a mobile...

My Dad grew up in the Great Depression (grandfather brought the family over from Italy in 1930). He always was frugal, sometimes to the point of foolishness.

When his cancer came back, and we knew he was dying, the two of us had a big argument. I told him he wasn't safe. That he needed to have a mobile with him in case he fell, he said he had one in the car, and he had a landline in the house.

I pointed out that if he fell between the car and the house that he was screwed. That point got through to him, and a couple of days later he bought a cheap flip phone.

About three weeks after that he did fall, and couldn't get up. He also couldn't reach the landline, even though he was in the same room!

That flip phone gave him the tool he needed to get help. He never, ever, went anywhere without it again.

deadonthefloor

Bill Gates' return to the top of the list had very little to do with Microsoft and a lot more to do with Michael Larson.

Wayne Brady

Just a thought - the "installed base" of mobile phones (and smartphones) can grow to cover everyone in the world all while yearly mobile/smartphone sales can fall from current levels.

Ownership times are extending and the used market is growing.

chithanh

The number of humans on this planet is not constant, but growing.
The upper limit for the useful life of a smartphone is determined by the ageing battery, which is going to be mostly dead after 4-5 years. Replacing it may be possible only for the popular smartphone models.
Dumbphones will survive longer, as their batteries suffer fewer charge cycles and even at 20% capacity are still useful.

Abdul Muis

I already put this on the Bloodbath article, but I think it's should be here, sorry for the double post.

Interesting number from Ericsson
http://www.ericsson.com/mobility-report/mobile-traffic

Masood Uttra

The universities in Australia are known globally for their quality education. A large number of international students apply in Australian universities every year. This is a good time to get Australian Student Immigration.

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    Tomi Ahonen is a bestselling author whose twelve books on mobile have already been referenced in over 100 books by his peers. Rated the most influential expert in mobile by Forbes in December 2011, Tomi speaks regularly at conferences doing about 20 public speakerships annually. With over 250 public speaking engagements, Tomi been seen by a cumulative audience of over 100,000 people on all six inhabited continents. The former Nokia executive has run a consulting practise on digital convergence, interactive media, engagement marketing, high tech and next generation mobile. Tomi is currently based out of Hong Kong but supports Fortune 500 sized companies across the globe. His reference client list includes Axiata, Bank of America, BBC, BNP Paribas, China Mobile, Emap, Ericsson, Google, Hewlett-Packard, HSBC, IBM, Intel, LG, MTS, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, Ogilvy, Orange, RIM, Sanomamedia, Telenor, TeliaSonera, Three, Tigo, Vodafone, etc. To see his full bio and his books, visit www.tomiahonen.com Tomi Ahonen lectures at Oxford University's short courses on next generation mobile and digital convergence. Follow him on Twitter as @tomiahonen. Tomi also has a Facebook and Linked In page under his own name. He is available for consulting, speaking engagements and as expert witness, please write to tomi (at) tomiahonen (dot) com

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