Qualcomm provides insights on mobility trends in 2014 and beyond

Mobile technology is the largest technology platform in history, transforming industries and the way people interact. 3G/4G and its evolution continues to be adopted rapidly worldwide; globally, it is expected that around 4.6 billion connections will be on 3G/4G networks by 2017 (GSMA Intelligence, Jan 2014).

Ziad Matar of Qualcomm.
Ziad Matar of Qualcomm.

Furthermore, mobile broadband connections are fast surpassing fixed, expected to reach around 83 percent in total broadband connections (GSMA Intelligence, Nov 2013; WBIS, Nov 2013).  For instance, according to Facebook in May last year, over 68% of their total users now access Facebook from their mobile phone; similarly, YouTube traffic from mobile devices tripled in 2011 (YouTube, April 2013).

From feature phones to smartphones and beyond
Smartphones are redefining computing by offering a superior computing experience, and is driving a significant part of this uptrend.  Smartphone shipments continue to outperform the PC market, selling around approximately double those of PCs and 3.5 times those of mobile PCs in 2012.

The importance of the smartphone cannot be understated, as it is the most secure and most personalized device. What’s more, mobile users nowadays expect breakthrough experiences with leading performance and all day battery life, in order to be productive, entertained and informed on the go 24/7.

The Internet of Everything
The term “mobile device” is expanding beyond smartphones.  From tablets to smartwatches, to 3G-enabled digital cameras and eBooks etc, we are seeing new categories of thin, energy-efficient devices that cater to every situation for consumers and businesses.

Now, the Internet of Everything (IoE) is here today, rapidly changing our world and evolving how we live.  Smart things everywhere are being connected from very basic machines to sophisticated consumer electronics – all becoming smarter because of the network and services to which they connect.

As a company that has been dedicated to mobile inventions and innovations since our inception in 1985, Qualcomm has the vision, experience and resources to create the fabric of IoE for businesses, governments and consumers alike.  We are already working with our industry partners to build innovative value-added applications, services and experiences for the connected home and deliver them at scale on open platforms.

Not only are Qualcomm technologies (such as Qualcomm Internet Processor, Gobi, StreamBoost, AllPlay, Wi-Fi and powerline) already present in many devices in the home but we also work with a broad ecosystem of industry partners, for instance within the AllSeen Alliance (to which we contributed the open-source AllJoyn software framework). This enables us to bring the necessary interoperability across public, home and proximal clouds.

Certainly, the Internet of Everything presents vast opportunities for every industry sector, limited only by the stretch of human imagination.  We believe that initial interest in IoE will remain in the sphere of the connected home; smart energy & utilities; automotive and in education.

However, as more companies – within and beyond the mobile industry – take greater interest in developing devices and services for a variety of industry sectors, mobile technology will be the paradigm shifts which transforms the way we interact with each other – and things around us.

Global Mobile Statistics

  • Mobile is the largest technology platform in the history of civilization.  Already, approx 3.4 billion unique subscribers by Q4 2013, expected to grow to over 4 billion by 2017 (GSMA Intelligence)
  • 3G/4G and its evolution continue to be adopted rapidly worldwide.  3G/4G devices shipment estimated to cross 1 billion in 2013 à around 2 billion by 2017
  • Worldwide tablet sales to end users reached 195.4 million units in 2013, a 68% increase over 2012. The bulk of 2013’s tablet growth was fuelled by the low-end, smaller-screen tablet market, mostly running on Google’s Android software. (Gartner)
  • Android become the number-one tablet operating system in 2013, taking 61.9% market share. (Gartner)
  • Almost 43% of all mobile ad impressions globally came from an Android device in the first quarter of 2014, the latest State of Mobile Advertising report found. That compares to about 38% for iOS, 5.8% for Symbian, 1.14% for BlackBerry, and 0.18% for Windows Phone. (Opera Mediaworks)
  • Worldwide smartphone shipments will slow to 8.3% annual growth in 2017 and 6.2% in 2018. (IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker)
  • Annual smartphone volume in 2013 surpassed 1 billion units for the first time, accounting for 39.2% growth over 2012. 2014 volumes are expected to be 1.2 billion, up from 1 billion in 2013, representing 19.3% year-over-year growth. (IDC)
  • The Google Android system was used on 78.9 percent of smartphones sold globally in 2013. Apple’s global market share slipped to 15.5 percent in 2013 from 19.4 percent in 2012. Meanwhile Windows Phone grabbed third place with a 3.6 percent share, up from 2.7 percent a year earlier. (Strategy Analytics)

Internet and Mobile Facts for the Region
The Middle East and Africa region is one of most important emerging regions providing the next wave of growth.

  • Emerging regions including MEA are driving the future growth of mobile (GSMA Intelligence)

o   ~115 million 3G/4G connections were added in emerging regions Q4 ’13

o   In KSA alone, it is expected there will be more than 11 million 4G subscriptions by 2016. The Middle East as a whole is expected to reach a total of 15 million 4G subscriptions (DiscoverDigitalArabia)

  • ~76% of 3G/4G connections expected to come from emerging regions in 2017, up from ~64% in Q4 ’13
    The mobile device has become indispensable to modern digital living, transforming consumer behavior, regardless of geography or culture

o   Total handset sales in the UAE are expected to grow by 6.66 per cent this year to 3.2 million units compared to three million last year. In 2015, the market is expected to grow by 3.13 per cent. (IDC)

o   74% of smartphone users use their devices for product research and purchase; this number increases to 79% for online shopping. 44% use their devices to find product reviews, and 49% to compare prices instantaneously. (Go-Gulf.com)

  • It is believed that the next 10 million apps will not come from leading markets, but rather from the developing world, with a rise in demand in localised apps. (United Nations/International Telecommunication Union)
  • Total handset sales in the UAE are expected to grow by 6.66 per cent in 2014 to 3.2 million units compared to three million last year. In 2015, the market is expected to grow by 3.13 per cent. (IDC)
  • The share of smartphones out of all the handsets is 55 per cent compared to 45 per cent non-smartphones in the UAE. (IDC)
  • Tablet computer sales rose 82 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2013 to 398,003 units compared to 218,639 units in the fourth quarter of 2012. (IDC)
  • In 2014, 1.72 million tablets are expected to be sold compared to 1.46 million tablets in 2013, a growth of 17.80 per cent. In 2012 the figure was 619,770 units. (IDC)
  • Mobile data traffic in the Middle East and Africa is forecast to grow faster than in any other region in the world during the next five years. Data traffic carried over mobile networks is forecast to increase 14-fold in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) from 2013 to 2018. (Cisco’s Visual Networking Index Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast)
  • There was a 107 per cent increase in the region’s mobile data traffic to 105,655 terabytes per month during 2013. (Cisco)
  • Data traffic on mobile networks will rise to 1.49 exabytes (about 1.6 billion gigabytes) per month in MEA by 2018, a compound annual growth rate of 70 per cent. Such data traffic is equivalent to around 372 million DVDs each month or 4,105 million text messages each second. (Cisco)
  • The rates of monthly mobile internet data for 1GB in Saudi Arabia starts from AED23.5, AED47.7 in Oman, AED63.3 in Qatar, and AED100 in the UAE. The mobile data packages in Kuwait start at AED104.03/month for 6 GB while it is AED195.35/month in Bahrain for an unlimited data. (ICDL GCC Foundation)
  • Regional governments have registered their highest levels of ICT investment in 2013, with Kuwait taking the lead at $28 billion followed by Saudi Arabia at $4.8 billion. Qatar and the UAE take third and fourth place with a total spending of $3 billion and $2.7 billion, respectively. (ICDL GCC Foundation)
  • ICT spending in the UAE is expected to grow around five per cent to cross the $15 billion mark in 2014, up from $14.3 billion in 2013. IT, which includes hardware, packaged software and IT services will represent over 45 per cent of the combined ICT market, totaling nearly $7 billion in the coming year. (IDC)