Current cycle of tech disruption is faster & broader: Mary Meeker, partner at VC firm KPCB

4 Dec, 2012

Classifying the current digital generation as 'asset light' which frees space, time and money, top venture capitalist Mary Meeker in her latest report said this cycle of tech disruption is materially faster and broader than prior cycles.

Going forward, users will have access to inexpensive devices and services (apps). They will also get relevant, personalised and curated content according to '2012 Internet Trends Update', a report, by Meeker, partner at venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB).

Citing data from a Morgan Stanley Research report,  she expects the total installed base of smartphones and tablet to hit an inflection point and exceed the total PC installed base globally in the second quarter of 2013.

Entrepreneurs are getting a nearly plug and play environment with marketplaces, web services, innovative productivity tools and low startup costs, as per the report. They have also got the ability to reach millions of new users in record time (with connected customers).

Here are some nuggets on global digital ecosystem:

As of now, there are 2.4 billion internet users worldwide, a number that has been growing at eight per cent year on year. In contrast, the total number of worldwide smartphone subscribers is 1.1 billion, and while this is an impressive number, it's still just 17 percent of the global cellphone market, which is over five billion. Also, the global mobile traffic is growing rapidly and it already accounts for 13 per cent of the total internet traffic.

Revenues from mobile apps and advertising have been growing at an annual rate of 129 per cent since 2008, and it is now over $19 billion. Over the last three years, the revenue split has moved from 50:50 contribution from apps and mobile advertising to 2:1 split in favour of apps, the report said, citing data from Gartner, eMarketer and Strategy Analytics.

The report also pointed out that the growth of mobile has affected Windows as an operating system negatively, since its market share is now at 35 per cent, compared with the 45 per cent share of Android and iOS. Microsoft, as we know, has been looking to plug this with its latest Windows 8 OS.

India statistics

India, which has 137 million internet users, witnessed an y-o-y growth of 26 per cent. Interestingly, India held the second position (after China) worldwide in terms of the number of internet user additions, with 88 million new users being added between 2008-2012. The internet penetration in the country now stands at 11 per cent, according to Informa, a publishing and conference company.

As far as smartphone subscribers are concerned, India ranked at number five with 44 million subscribers in Q4, 2012. The smartphone subscriber base in the country saw a 52 per cent y-o-y growth and now accounts for four per cent of the total subscribers base, according to Informa.

Interestingly, in India, the mobile internet traffic surpassed the desktop internet usage in May this year, and has been growing even further since then. The report mentions that going forward, other countries will also see a similar trend, as per  StatCounter Global Stats.

(Edited by Prem Udayabhanu)