Highlights of Mary Meeker’s Global Internet Trends & Predictions for 2013


Twice a year, MaryMeeker of Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers shares her insights about the current state of the Internet in a presentation called Internet Trends.

The Internet Trends presentations are highly anticipated and provide outstanding insight into global, macro trends and factors that influence the Internet economy – e-commerce, mobile and communications.

One of Meeker’s bravest predictions back in 2008 was that mobile web use would surpass desktop web use by 2014. Right up to our latest numbers, her prediction is proving correct.

Meeker’s presentations are full of valuable ideas for any leader involved in business and technology who wants to keep their finger on the pulse of the Internet.

The full presentation is 88 slides and embedded at the bottom of this post. The parts most relevant to the mobile world are analyzed and highlighted below.


Mobile & Tablet Numbers Growing Rapidly

Mobile technology has already become a ubiquitous part of people’s lives, yet there is still a lot of room to grow.

  • There are now 2.4 billion global Internet users in 2012. Emerging markets drive 8% of the year-on-year growth.
  • China added 282 million Internet users between 2008-2012. India came second with 88 million users added.
  • The number of global smartphone users has grown by 42% to reach 1.1 billion. Still, smartphone users account for only 17% of all mobile subscribers.
  • The iPad sold at 3 times the rate of the iPhone. The Android “Phone” OS is being adopted twice as fast.
  • 30% of US adults own a tablet or e-reader, up from 2% just three years ago.
  • 48% of American children (6-12 years old) want an iPad for Christmas, while 36% want an iPad Mini.
  • Global mobile traffic now accounts for 13% of all Internet traffic. Meanwhile, in India, mobile Internet traffic surpassed desktop Internet usage in May of 2012.
  • Almost 1/4 of all online shopping on Black Friday in 2012 was done on mobile and tablet devices (vs. 6% two years ago).

Mobile Changes Everything

The ways users consume content are being reshaped by the new technologies.

  • Devices: In 2010, smartphone and tablet shipments exceeded PCs.
  • User interfaces combine touch, voice and gesture to create the “natural user interface.”
  • Information flow is leaning towards real-time global reach, with more crowdsourced content.
  • Content organization: Users want quick, sharable, accessible content.
  • Magazines: consumers expect more content that is always up-to-date, personalized, accessible from anywhere, interactive, and sharable.
  • Television: people use multiple screens & multiple devices at the same time.

“We hope to rewire the way people spread and consume… We think a more open and connected world will help create a stronger economy with more authentic businesses that build better products and services.” — Mark Zuckerberg, Founder & CEO, Facebook

Mobile Opportunities Are Endless

Soon, users will have high-speed connectivity anywhere and at any time. This opens opportunities for more interactive, real-time applications and bite-size content.

  • Nearly ubiquitous high-speed wireless access in developed countries is coming and will increase the pace of change in unprecedented ways.
  • Broadly accepted social and interest graphs are driving information transparency and allow for remarkable personalization.
  • “Social is emerging as the starting distribution point for content.” — Brian Norgard, Founder of Chill
  • Demand for beautiful, relevant, personalized, and curated content is rising as we see an ever-increasing amount of information available.
  • Mobile integration with cloud infrastructure and services opens doors for new applications and ways of using the Internet.
  • It is getting easier for consumers to get what they want when they want it and anywhere they want it.

The Bottom Line for Mobile

Technology changes the way we do everything in the world. Mobile technology is playing an important role in these changes and, in many areas like advertising, social networking, e-commerce and gaming, leading these changes.

Mobile web use has been increasing steadily in 2012, and there is still plenty of room to grow. Meanwhile, users now expect quick, accessible, mobile-first content and beautiful interface designs. They expect the mobile web to be an amazing experience.

Meeker says that the current cycle of tech. disruption is “materially faster and broader” than ever before. We tend to agree and look forward to the inventions and innovations it will bring next.

You can find the full presentation embedded below.

And if want to take a deep dive and learn what has changed over the year, take a look at our analysis of 2012 Internet Trends from earlier this year.