Feature Article

January 30, 2014

Mobile Connections to Reach 9 Billion By 2018

Mobile devices are becoming more popular, but the research firm iGR has forecast that worldwide mobile connections will grow to over 9 billion by 2018.

"iGR believes that mobile connections will grow strongly over the forecast period due in part to the use of multiple mobile devices," said Iain Gillott, president and founder of iGR. "Subscribers in developed markets are no longer using only a single smartphone connection, but are increasingly connecting via a smartphone, tablet and connected car.”

The Austin, Texas-based firm released its findings in a new report entitled “Global Mobile Connections Forecast, 2013 - 2018: More people, tablets, cars and connected things.”

The report forecasts growth around the world and expects the number of mobile connections to grow from 6.5 billion in 2013 to almost 9 billion by 2018. The report also forecasts mobile penetration to jump from 91.8 percent in 2013 to over 120 percent in the same time frame.

iGR believes that this number will grow because mobile devices can use just about any kind of connection, from Wi-Fi to 3G.

In developing regions, smartphones and tablets are the primary computing devices for many people who have never owned a PC, while in the developed world they continue to supplement traditional PCs. This is similar to the way many people in the developing world adopted mobile phones despite having never had a landline. Mobile technology may be an example of what Clayton Christensen calls a “disruptive innovation,” a technology that rises from simple roots to overtake established technologies in price and performance.

In time, thanks to Moore’s Law, mobile devices will continue to get faster and cheaper at the same time, relegating PCs to niche uses like engineering and other technical tasks as mobile devices gain more capabilities. Mobile devices will also find more embedded applications and the same increase in power and decrease in price will encourage growth in markets like M2M.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

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