10 Ways Smartphones, Mobile Devices Are Influencing the Webs Future

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10 Ways Smartphones, Mobile Devices Are Influencing the Webs Future

by Clint Boulton

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More Than 1 Billion ServedFor perspective, more than 1.6 billion people - a little over a quarter of the world's population - used the Internet in 2009, IDC said. That number will balloon to 2.2 billion people, or more than one third of the world's population.

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Land of the Rising SunChina boasted 359 million Internet users in 2009, topping all countries. Moreover, IDC said this number will grow to 566 million by 2013. By comparison, the U.S. had 261 million Internet users in 2009, though it is expected to only grow to 280 million by 2013.

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Internet DevicesMirroring the total number of Internet users, more than 1.6 billion devices worldwide were used to access the Internet in 2009, from PCs, to mobile phones, and online videogame consoles. Web-enabled devices will rocket to more than 2.7 billion by 2013.

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Whither Mobile?There were more than 450 million mobile Internet users worldwide in 2009, with 85 million in China, according to IDC. But this number that is expected to shoot past the 1 billion mark by the end of 2013, thanks to mobile phones, smartphones and other wireless devices.

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SearchingMobile Web users will be doing a lot more searching from their mobile phones, thanks to applications that are improving monthly in their efficiency. In a small buy salient example, Google refreshed its Google Mobile Apps for the iPhone to open Web pages from the search results, rather than making users jump to a separate Safari browser window.

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MusicInternet music providers are going like hotcakes. MySpace bought iLike and iMeem assets. Apple acquired Lala. Google launched a music search application. Don't think people are primarily listening to music on their PCs and laptops. Apple IPods rule the roots, while peoples' smartphones, the Swiss-Army knives of consumer devices, are doubling as radios.

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Corporate Road WarriorsIDC said businesses are investing in empowering their workers with mobile devices, enabling workers to access online business applications and corporate e-mail systems from smartphones such as iPhones and Blackberry devices from RIM. IBM has several rich Lotus offerings, while Google added a Google Apps Connector for Blackberry Enterprise Server.

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Mobile PaymentsTwitter Co-founder Jack Dorsey launched mobile payment system Square into beta in December. The device and software combo lets users maker purchases with their iPhones. Over the next four years, IDC expects some of the fastest growing applications for mobile Internet users will be for enabling users to purchase goods and services online.

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More BroadlyMore than 624 million Internet users will make online purchases in 2009 worldwide, totaling nearly $8 trillion. That number will double to $16 trillion by 2013.

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E-Commerce Equals Ad OpportunitiesAnd where people are shopping online, companies like Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and others are happy to serve them digital ads. IDC said worldwide spending on Internet advertising will total some $61 billion in 2009, more than 10 percent of all ad spending across all media. This share is expected to reach almost 15% by 2013 as Internet ad spending grows surpasses $100 billion worldwide.

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