Mary Meeker: Mobile Internet Will Soon Overtake Fixed Internet
Comment of the Day

April 15 2010

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Mary Meeker: Mobile Internet Will Soon Overtake Fixed Internet

Thanks to a subscriber for this interesting article by Matthew Ingram for Here is a section
Meeker says that mobile Internet usage is ramping up substantially faster than desktop Internet usage did, a view she and her team arrived at by comparing the adoption rates of iPhone/iPod touch to that of AOL and Netscape in the early 1990s. According to Meeker, adoption of the Apple devices is taking place more than 11 times faster that of AOL, and several times as fast as that of Netscape. Helping to drive this is 3G technology, which Morgan Stanley says recently hit an "inflection point" by being available to more than 20 percent of the world's cellular users (although penetration is only 7 percent in Central/South America and 13 percent in Asia/Pacific - excluding Japan, where it's 96 percent).

But that mobile boom will take its toll on carriers, Meeker says, because mobile Internet use is all about data. The average cell-phone usage pattern is 70 percent voice, while the average iPhone is 45 percent voice. At NTT DoCoMo, data usage accounts for 90 percent of network traffic. The analyst says her team expects mobile data traffic to increase by almost 4,000 percent by 2014, for a cumulative annual growth rate of more than 100 percent. Such numbers will likely strike fear into the hearts of carriers, but joy into the hearts of equipment suppliers and mobile service companies.

One of the implications of mobile access is a growth in ecommerce, says Meeker, featuring things such as location-based services, time-based offers, mobile coupons, push notifications, etc. In China, the success of social network Tencent proves that virtual goods can be a big business, she says - virtual goods sales accounted for $2.2 billion worth of the company's revenue in 2009 and $24 in annual revenue per user. Online commerce and paid services made up 32 percent of mobile revenue in Japan in 2008, up from just 14 percent in 2000. Meeker's report suggests that the rest of the world - which is still below the 14 percent-mark - could see much the same trajectory over the next 10 years.

Eoin Treacy's view Information Technology remains a Fullermoney theme. Many of the better performing companies in the sector are global leaders in their field, have fostered healthy brand awareness for their produces, are massively cash generative and offer leverage to growth of the global economy and the emergence of hundreds of millions of new middle class consumers.

IBM and Apple are leading shares in the sector but the wider Nasdaq has also been an impressive performer. The Nasdaq-100 had pulled back towards the ascending 200-day moving average by early February and has now risen for 10 of the last 11 weeks. It broke through the psychological 2000 this week and has become somewhat overextended relative to the MA. Nevertheless the 11-week rise remains consistent and a clear downward dynamic would be required to check the advance beyond a brief pause and likely signal the onset of another mean reversion.

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