We have seen a steady growth in the sales of smartphones and tablets this year and along with that comes consumption of information. It seems that this growth is headed straight up and shows no signs of slowing down. A recent article, from gigaOM, indicates we are using almost an exabyte of data traffic in the US. That is a very large number and is an increase of 25% for the 3rd quarter as compared to the 3rd quarter of 2009. It does appear our appetite for information is not getting satisfied. To put that in perspective, most computers have Gigabyte (GB) hard drives, so most people understand that value. An Exabyte is 1 billion gigabytes. Almost something you cannot comprehend except in abstract terms. Global usage of data at the end of the first quarter was 21 exabytes.
It appears US households with mobile devices are expected to be consuming an average of 325 MB of data per month by the end of this year. This generally fits with some of the new tiered pricing that US wireless carriers are now putting out and charging your for. These numbers and expected growth can only mean more revenue for them going forward. So, it makes you wonder where all this will end up with the changing technology which we are still in the early days of. Mobile devices are just now starting to get the performance they need to replace larger computers, such as laptops. With the faster CPU’s coming next year in duo core, we can expect to see a jump in what these mobile phones and tablets can do. Add to that the coming 4G networks, and what people are able to do will take another jump.
In The Rise of the Gigabyte Phone, Om Malik, presents us with a new usage level within the next 5 years. There are current projections which indicate data usage will begin increasing at a rate of 700% per month every month. This is from Informa Research and will will happen in the next 5 years, though OM believes it will happen faster than that. I tend to agree with him on that. His Gigabyte Phone will be consuming 1 gigabyte of data usage every month and this will be the norm. A significant increase from the 325 MB per month estimated by the end of this year.
We have been following the changes in technology and like one group calls themselves, this is a Change Wave (ChangeWave.com) which is coming. Tablets are going to change the way that things are being done in this country and the world. We have seen just how successful the iPad has been this year while being limited to select wireless carriers. We all know that 2011 will be the year when stiff competition emerges to challenge the iPad and then into 2012. During this time, companies will begin looking to replace laptops with tablets. You add to this the growth in smartphones and the ever increasing capabilities of them, and it looks like our appetite for mobile data consumption will not end. We hope the wireless carriers can keep up with the tidal wave that is coming.