Mary Meeker’s Mobile Trends 2019

Jun 18, 2019
By: Marissa Camilli

When it comes to having your finger on the pulse of the digital economy, few people come close to the expertise of Mary Meeker. Meeker is more than just a thought leader in her field, she’s an absolute powerhouse of influence, regularly rubbing shoulders with such luminaries as Angela Merkle and Melinda Gates on the Forbes Most Powerful Women List. As such, Meeker’s annual Internet Trends Report is a must-read for anyone interested in where the digital industry is headed.

Meeker’s 2019 report doesn’t disappoint. Her insight goes deep and comes complete with a 333 slide deck PowerPoint presentation. It’s quite a feat to get through it — so we’ve decided to pick out some of Meeker’s most relevant smartphone-related trends.

If you are looking for the full picture (and have a couple of hours to spare), check Meeker’s complete 2019 slides deck here.

Incredible Growth Opportunities in India and China

Global Internet penetration currently stands at around 51% of the world’s population. While there are very few people the Internet hasn’t reached in mature markets like the US and Europe, half the world still hasn’t enjoyed the benefits of online life.

The vast majority of these soon to be online populations will access Internet services primarily via their smartphones, bypassing more expensive and less mobile PC devices. 

This means there is a huge opportunity yet to be tapped in a number of emerging economies. While there is incredible scale in countries like Brazil and Mexico, it is the Chinese and Indian markets that offer the biggest growth potential.

While China and Indiacurrently account for a third (1.2 billion) of the world’s online population (3.6 billion), Internet penetration still has a long way to go before it reaches the levels enjoyed in economies like the United States or Europe.

Penetration rates in India are particularly low with only 34 percent of the population having access to the Internet. This means that nearly one billion people on the Indian sub-continent alone have yet to enjoy the delights of Facebook, Gmail or CandyCrush.

With this in mind, we can expect to see some significant changes to some of Mary’s slides in the coming years. Currently, only three of the top 30 companies by market capitalization are Chinese and there are no Indian firms currently ranked in the list. As the Chinese and Indian markets continue to evolve, will the dominant US-based corporations (there are currently 23 in the list) be able to hold onto the position or be squeezed out by local companies who perhaps better understand the new global market?

Further Reading: BRICS: A Smart Future Built on Affordable Devices

Dual Screening – TV Party

Television and mobile are now on equal footing with regards to both time spent on the medium and marketing spend dedicated to the channels.

But TV and mobile aren’t just competitive media, they are converging channels.

Meeker highlights the facts that 88% of people who watch TV are using a second digital device at the same time with 71% of TV viewers searching for content relevant to the programs they are watching.

Mobile has also made TV a more social environment with 41% of TV viewers using social media and email to message friends and family about the content they are viewing. 

This represents a huge opportunity for TV production companies to drive additional engagement and commercial opportunities via a second screen. In fact, you could argue that TV and mobile aren’t actually competitive channels but convergent channels.

Further Reading:  Will the Smartphone Change the Shape of TV?

The Rise of the Super App

Meeker is also keen to highlight the rise of the Super App. Apps used to reveal in their singular use functionality – whatever you want to do, there is an app for that. The thought behind this was simple – it’s better to concentrate on doing one thing well than to offer your consumers an unfocused and confusing product.

By focusing on a single service, app developers were able to build a user-base and generate trust in their brand. So where does an app developer go after they have become a leader in their particular niche?

Well Uber, the lift sharing app, got involved in food delivery, freight and eBikes – and their aspirations to be a major driver of the autonomous vehicle industry. Essentially they have become the go-to app for anyone on the go.

But if you really want a great example of a super-sized app, you need to look at the Chinese market.

Alipay has evolved from a simple payment app to super-app granting access to more than 200,000 mini services from a single platform. Essentially, Alipay allows smartphone users to bypass the Google Play Store. If you have this app on your smartphone, the chances are you will never need to download another app again (and remember most smartphone users don’t download new apps to their devices).

This makes it incredibly important for app developers to look for alternative routes to market beyond the traditional app store avenue. This alone is a huge argument for the benefits of pre-loading. You can either get into bed with the super-apps and give away a significant amount of control and income to a third-party business, or you can compete with them on a level playing field.

Further Reading:  Digital Turbine’s Secret Sauce: Reaching New Users at Scale

Go Deep

Meeker’s deep dive into all things digital is a fascinating read and we’re pleased to see many of her insights reflect our opinions on the changing face of the global economy. The future is mobile and the opportunity is even bigger than you could possibly imagine.

To learn how Digital Turbine can help you deliver the right app to the right person at the right time, talk to one of our app marketing experts today.

Marissa Camilli
By Marissa Camilli
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