There were more than 450 million mobile Internet users worldwide in 2009, a number that is expected to more than double by the end of 2013. Driven by the popularity and affordability of mobile phones, smartphones, and other wireless devices, IDC predicts in its "Worldwide Digital Marketplace Model and Forecast" that the number of mobile devices accessing the Internet will surpass the one billion mark over the next four years.
IDC expects some of the fastest growing applications for mobile Internet users will be making online purchases, participating in online communities, and creating blogs. Accessing online business applications and corporate email systems will also grow rapidly as businesses move to empower their mobile workforce.
Highlights from IDC’s Worldwide Digital Marketplace Model and Forecast include:
- More than 1.6 billion people – a little over a quarter of the world’s population – used the Internet in 2009. By 2013, over 2.2 billion people – more than one third of the world’s population – is expected to be using the Internet
- More than 1.6 billion devices worldwide were used to access the Internet in 2009, including PCs, mobile phones, and online videogame consoles. By 2013, the total number of devices accessing the Internet will increase to more than 2.7 billion.
- China continues to have more Internet users than any other country, with 359 million in 2009. This number is expected to grow to 566 million by 2013. The United States had 261 million Internet users in 2009, a figure that will reach 280 million in 2013. India will have one of the fastest growing Internet populations, growing almost two-fold between 2009 and 2013.
- Presently, the United States has far more total devices connected to the Internet than any other country. China, however, is the leader in the number of mobile online devices with almost 85 million mobile devices connected to the Internet in 2009. The number of Internet devices in India, both mobile and fixed, is expected to grow commensurate with the number of Internet users.
- Worldwide, more than 624 million Internet users will make online purchases in 2009, totaling nearly $8 trillion (both business to business and business to consumer). By 2013, worldwide eCommerce transactions will be worth more than $16 trillion.