Bullish future for mobile internet technology, says Morgan Stanley
Morgan Stanley internet analyst Mary Meeker expects smartphone sales will surpass PC and laptop sales in 2012, with more than 450 million units sold.
Speaking in San Francisco at the Web 2.0 Summit this week, Meeker revealed that by 2013 .mobile sales will approach 650 million units. The expert analyst flagged China as a source of major mobile growth with 14.5 million 3G users – some 2 percent of the population, and significant growth potential.
That compares with 37 million in the United States, but that population grew by 941 percent in the third quarter compared with one year ago.
For landline connections, Internet video is taking off, Meeker said. According to analytics firm Sandvine, Netflix captured 21 percent of traffic during peak hours in the third quarter. YouTube users take up 10 percent of traffic.
Meeker said Internet advertising is “ripe for innovation.” On Facebook, 27 million users said they like Zynga’s Texas Hold’em Poker game, the equivalent of the number of people who tune in to "American Idol." The cost per impression for Texas Hold’em Internet advertisers is $30 less than for "American Idol" ads on TV.
China’s top social networking site, Tencent is the fourth-largest net company, Meeker said, with $1.8 billion in revenue and a market capitalistion worth $41 billion. Tencent users create virtual identities that have generated $1.4 billion in virtual goods revenues in 2009.
Taking lessons from Japan, social networking will drive demand for smartphones, Meeker predicted. Four years ago, Mixi, Japan’s leading social networking site, drew about 17 percent of its page views from mobile phone users. In the past quarter, 84 percent of page views came from mobile phone users.