Analyst-turned-VC Mary Meeker's annual Internet Trends presentation draws plenty of attention in Silicon Valley and beyond.
The 2013 edition is no exception, co-authored with Liang Wu, her colleague at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
Among the trends highlighted this year:
The internet is still growing. Up 8% year-on-year to 2.4bn internet users globally, driven by emerging markets: China, India, Indonesia, Iran and Russia were the top five countries for "internet user net adds" in 2012. Yet Meeker and Wu note that 80% of the top ten global internet properties were "made in USA", even though 81% of their users are outside America.
People's digital-media uploads continue to rise sharply. The presentation notes that the amount of "global digital information created and shared" – photos, videos, tweets, documents etc – grew 9x in five years to nearly 2 zettabytes in 2011. That's 2bn gigabytes, if you were wondering. The presentation notes that photos and videos may be "ramping very fast", but it's sound and personal data that are the emerging categories.
Mobile, mobile, mobile. The presentation has a slide hailing US smartphone users as "Connected + Excited + Curious / Interested + Productive" while pointing to parts of the world where mobile is already surpassing desktop PCs for internet access: China in particular. And with 1.5bn smartphone users, growth continues to be rapid as people switch from feature phones in their hundreds of millions.
People are taking their tablets in droves. Meeker and Wu show Morgan Stanley stats indicating that tablet shipments overtook desktop PCs and notebooks in the final quarter of 2012, less than three years after Apple launched its first iPad.
Wearables, Drivables, Flyables, Scannables. Ridicule is nothing to be scared of, according to this year's presentation, which notes the mockery of the Google Glass augmented glasses, while pointedly citing a 1977 quote from Digital Equipment Corporation founder Ken Olson: "There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home", and a magazine feature from 1999 suggesting that Amazon (and by extension, e-commerce) was a ".Bomb". Connected cars (drivables), mini-drones (flyables) and even QR codes (scannables) are also put forward as key trends.
Follow China very closely. Meeker and Wu quote Flurry analytics stats showing it has overtaken the US for active iOS and Android users; cite separate research showing China already leads the US for the percentage of "media consumption time" spent using the internet and mobile; and point out that Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba's gross merchandise volume "surpassed Amazon.com + eBay" in the final quarter of 2012.
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