When the first iPhone released a few years ago, it changed the face of the mobile industry. Google followed suit with Android and it has gone on to create its own mobile revolution. Today, the global mobile landscape is getting redefined and emerging markets are driving this change.
The appetite for mobile phones, particularly smartphones, is huge in emerging markets. An eMarketer report suggests that the total number of smartphone users in India will grow from an estimated 116 million in 2014 to around 234 million to 2017, a whopping 26% CAGR growth; making the country the fastest growing smartphone population, not just across emerging markets but also globally. Similarly, Southeast Asia is witnessing a steady demand for smartphones with the growth numbers in this region pegged at close to 300 million for 2017 growing at 14% CAGR from an estimated 200 million in 2014. (Ref. to Graph: Smartphone Users)
What has led to this explosive growth in adoption of smartphones in emerging markets? The answer is pretty straightforward. A majority of the population in these markets never had affordable, easy access to Internet. Smartphones have successfully bridged that gap. In many of the emerging markets, today, a smartphone has become the primary medium for all internet access. (Ref. to Graph: Mobile Interner Users)
Affordability, ease of access, and the personal and always connected nature of a smartphone has triumphed over the traditional internet access devices such as the PC. The user is always connected on-the-go and a smartphone provides a user experience far more personalized, enriching and engaging than most other media channels, making it the primary screen for all content consumption for the mobile internet user in emerging markets.
Industry reports suggest that internet access on mobile is surpassing that on desktops. Be it games, social networking, banking, entertainment or news, over a billion of these connected users across emerging markets are turning to smartphones to access the apps and sites they love. The mobile interactions of these Emerging Connected Billion™ users are generating petabytes of data.
Translating this data into actionable insights that drive sharper results is a challenge that the mobile ecosystem is grappling with today. However, by aggregating and transforming these interactions of the Emerging Connected Billion™ into Smart Data, marketers can achieve greater sales, telcos can see higher ARPUs, app developers can maximize the yield for their apps and data providers will be able to drive more revenue.