Are you old enough to remember the great PC rush of the 1980’s? At that time, it seemed like personal computers went from being a curiosity to a mainstream device in record time. And perhaps you recall better the big Internet boom of the 1990’s, where everyone and their mother (literally) were rushing to be “online”. It was a crazy time, and the numbers involved were staggering.
Well, you’ve not seen anything yet. According to a new report released by research firm Flurry , smart device adoption is faster than any other technology boom to date. To put it in perspective, the Android and iOS boom is over ten times bigger than the PC growth of the 1980’s, and over twice as fast as that whole Internet thing.
Even Social Networks fail to compete, with people snapping up their smart devices three times faster than they started checking out their old school friends and relatives.
More Staggering Numbers
During the month of July alone, there were over 640 million iOS and Android devices actively in use. Of those, you would find 165 million in the US alone, with many more found in Europe and Asia. China, in second place, has around 128 million smart devices that are active and accounted for, but with its 401 percent year over year growth it may soon have the top spot in total units. As you might expect from these numbers, China is already the fastest growing market for Android and iOS devices in the world.
Saturated US Market
While the large growth numbers are happening internationally, the US is already showing signs of market saturation. For example, a whopping 78 percent of adults in the wide age range of 15 to 64 are active smart device users. This means that the majority of everyone from the teenager anxious to get their driver’s license to the retiree planning on world trips are cozying up to their smart devices for help on doing that and more.
China Key to Future Growth
This saturation could be a very good reason as to why Apple and other manufacturers are eyeing the emerging Chinese market with renewed emphasis. Having a new, fast growing market to introduce your latest and greatest gadgets is no doubt a solid path to success, and both Mountain Lion and iOS 6 have features designed to appear attractive to the Chinese smart device market.
In a quarterly earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook was quoted as calling the China smart device market “mindboggling” , with Apple showing a $7.39 billion revenue stream in the China March quarter alone. The bulk of the revenue came from sales of their flagship product the iPhone, with sales that were 500% greater than the same period the year previous. It is easy to see why smart device manufacturers are realizing that China is simply too big to ignore.
Could it be a Smarter Future?
With this tremendous explosion of smart devices, have you ever stopped to consider what the future could hold for the race of man? After all, we are talking about putting a thought tool not just in the homes of almost every sentient being on the earth, but rather right in their pocket. Information on an unimaginable number of topics is literally at our fingertips.
Perhaps historians will look back at today, and signify this as the time that mankind’s history shifted. I do think that we are witnessing a footnote in history in the making. As to what kind of footnote that is, we can only hope that it is a positive one.