Feature Article

March 04, 2013

Emerson Network Power Infographic Shows Evolution of Mobile Convergence

Phones used to be meant for talking and computers simply were for data, but a new generation of mobile devices has blurred the line between computers and phones.

Emerson Network Power has released an infographic that shows the evolution of what it calls "mobile convergence."

“The speed of the mobile revolution has been relatively well documented, but it isn’t until you stop and look at the data that you really understand what has happened over the last decade,” said Scott Barbour, executive vice president, Emerson, and business leader of Emerson Network Power. “The distinction between voice and data is evaporating, and this infographic illustrates not only how quickly it has happened, but what it means for providers and their customers.”

One trend the infographic points to is the growth of smartphones. In 2007, the year the iPhone was introduced, consumers bought around 300 million PCs. In 2011, they bought 350 million smartphones—more than the number of PCs sold that year. Smartphones are expected to outsell PCs by 2016.

With the increased sales of mobile devices comes an obvious increase in usage. In 2007, around 1.1 billion people accessed the Internet using PCs, while 400 million of them used mobile devices. This year, that gap is expected to vanish. Facebook already derived 33 percent of its traffic from mobile devices last year, a jump from five percent in 2008.

Additionally, the number of people watching video on mobile devices doubled from the third quarter to the fourth quarter in 2011.

The explosion of mobile devices has also changed the way people communicate. Over 65 million people use Skype daily instead of the phone network to make free voice and video calls to other Skype users.

These vital changes mean that networks will have to evolve to keep up with consumer demand, building 4G networks.

Edited by Jamie Epstein

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