Last Thursday, the Mobile Web Africa conference was held in Johannesburg and some interesting information showing the powerful bullish trend of the mobile industry was revealed. Repeating a statistic fist mentioned by Nokia at MindTrek 2010, it was repeated by star 3G consultant Tomi Ahonen that the average person stares at his/her phone 150 times per day. That works out to once every 6.5 minutes of every hour that the average person is awake.
According to Ahonen, mobile is a faster way to reach consumers than other digital forms of communications. A study done in New Zealand found that the average email is opened 48 hours after it is sent while the average text message is opened 4 minutes after being sent. Ahonen said, “SMS is literally 720 times faster than e-mail in message-opening throughput.” Another example of how consumers respond better to mobile information involves luxury retailer Tiffany. Ahonen noted that Tiffany’s website originally wasn’t originally optimized for mobile viewing. Once the company optimized the site for mobile, sales from the company’s website grew 125%.
We all wonder how we lived without our smartphones. And to show you how quickly this industry has been built, Ahonen says that mobile is the fastest growing industry of all time going from zero to $1 trillion in 2010 and that is expected to double by 2020. By then, he expects that even the cheapest “Africa phone” will have decent specs including 3G, Wi-Fi, a touch screen and an 8MP camera and will cost $10.