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“Some Interesting Mobile Statistics” or “Why My Girlfriend is Hot”


Earlier this year, I got the HTC Thunderbolt mobile phone which operates on Verizon’s very fast but spotty 4G LTE network. Jamie quickly nicknamed my phone “Tim’s girlfriend” in an obvious reference to my obsession with it. That obsession evolved into a full-fledged relationship post Irene when the girls abandoned ship to head to the cape in search of air conditioning and refrigerated foods. The phone has been my only connection to the outside world at night as I wait for NStar to do that union-powered magic. I watch YouTube videos, check Facebook and listen to Pandora …until the sad eventuality of the power draining out of her poor lifeless operating system. When she dies, I go to bed after the appropriate mourning period (equal to the amount of time it takes me to finish the remainder in my glass of Pinot). My evolving relationship with my phone this week got me to thinking about the mobile phone markets so I did a bit or research. Here’s some stuff that I learned thanks to the nice people at mobithinking:

· There are 5.3 billion mobile subscribers – 77% of the world’s population.

· Only 1.4 billion of those subscribers are in developed countries – it’s a lot cheaper to install cellular infrastructure in China and India than it is to install land lines.

· Mobile penetration in the developing world is at 68%; 41% in Africa.

· Gartner and IDC both expect Android to be the number one operating system in 2011 despite the much hyped IPhone. By 2015, Android’s operating system will have 48% market share compared to Apple’s iOS at 17% per IDC.

· Only 4% of smart-phones have any sort of anti-virus protection (Jupiter). By 2016, $3.6 Billion will be spent on mobile anti-virus software – 69% by corporations concerned about corporate data on mobile phones. I use the free version of Lookout which you can get here… http://bit.ly/phE3yK

· 25% of users use their mobile phone as their primary (or sole) way to access the internet including many lower income households and the elderly

· 71% of smart-phone users that see a TV or newspaper ad do more research on their mobile phones – but…79% of large online advertisers don’t have a mobile optimized site.

· Using your phone to make a purchase isn’t coming, it’s already here. EBay alone sold over $2 Billion in merchandise using mobile in 2010.

· In Japan, 10% of the mobile subscriber population has already used their phone (instead of cash) to pay for something at a traditional retailer or vending machine.

With all of that data clogging mobile networks, carriers have begun to charge based on your data usage and abandoning the ‘all you can eat’ data plans. If you are already paying for a metered data plan, you should check out Onavo http://www.onavo.com/ , the Sequoia backed startup that has built data compression software. The software also tracks which apps are data hogs on your phone.

I’m happy to report that the power is back on in 02052. I’m looking forward to watching TV and playing on my laptop…while my girlfriend recharges her batteries.

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About venturedebt

venture debt firm providing growth capital for emerging growth companies

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Tim O’Loughlin

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