A majority of the world’s 4.6 billion mobile subscribers uses mobile as their first and only Internet connection, said Nokia CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo at CES last week. The rate of people signing up to use the internet on their handset, he added, is rapidly increasing, possibly at the expense of computer-based browsing.
But does this really mean that the majority of internet services are already accessed on mobile phones globally, not from PCs, as Tomi Ahonen seems to believe? I’m not convinced, since the former (what Nokia said) doesn’t necessarily imply the latter (what Ahonen concludes).
I agree though with Ahonen that it is inevitable that soon the majority of internet access will be from mobile phones. Gartner predicts this threshold to be crossed by 2013. Ahonen notes:
In many Emerging World countries form Bangladesh to South Africa the ratio is more than 4 to 1 and as much as 10 to 1 where more mobile users access internet services (including WAP services) on their phones than on PCs. Even many advanced countries like Japan and Taiwan report the same milestone having passed.
Ahonen sees the mobile and the fixed Internet as different as TV is from radio.
And yes, the ‚mobile internet‘ as the 7th mass medium, is indeed the TV in that analogy, and the old-fashioned ‚legacy‘ internet on PCs, what you may call the ‚real internet‘ as the 6th mass medium is not only different, but it is the lesser opportunity, like radio is to TV. This view, originally seen as very much heresy, is now accepted ever more widely, so you may want to read why the mobile internet is not only different, but economically far more lucrative than the ‚real‘ internet.