Currently the 31% of all mobile users in the US have a smartphone. Just in case you weren’t going to do the math; that leaves a staggering 70% of the market with feature phones. Or as some of my friends call them; dumb phones. I think there is an enormous misconception that once the remainder of the market transitions to smartphones (whatever percentage that ends up being), that everyone will be using their phone for data with telephony as a distant second. Just like what we see in the most of todays sophisticated users. That ain’t gonna happen. Some people, no matter what cool things their phone can do, will still see it as a phone and not a mobile computer. I do however think that there is one company that can “introduce” more users to data-based services. (Hint: the name of the company is in the title of the post.)
That’s right Facebook. The one thing I do see just about everyone doing in the future, as they get shiny new smartphones for <insert holiday here> will be connecting to Facebook. With 600 million users and 1/3 of those users utilizing mobile phones to access their account, Facebook has already had a significant impact towards the adoption of data-based utilization. (Facebook has also spent quite a bit of effort ensuring they get the feature phone users internationally and also with in the US. This is a smart move as there will surely be a large part of the population on feature(less) phones in the foreseeable future.) As people become familiar with accessing Facebook via their mobile device, they will be less apprehensive to perform other tasks, like surfing the web or downloading apps. It sounds funny, I know. But I have family members that still access the Internet only to get their email. Although she recently has embraced Facebook as the other destination. Hey! 2 out of 1+ billion things you can do online isn’t that bad!