Morgan Stanley Institutional Services publish a remarkable study titled mildly enough ‘The Mobile Internet’ with these five major findings –

  • MobileDrivers Material wealth creation / destruction should surpass earlier computing cycles. The mobile Internet cycle, the 5th cycle in 50 years, is just starting. Winners in each cycle often create more market capitalization than in the last. New winners emerge, some incumbents survive – or thrive – while many past winners falter.
  • The mobile Internet is ramping faster than desktop Internet did, and we believe more users may connect to the Internet via mobile devices than desktop PCs within 5 years.
  • Five IP-based products / services are growing / converging and providing the underpinnings for dramatic growth in mobile Internet usage – 3G adoption + social networking + video + VoIP + impressive mobile devices.
  • Apple + Facebook platforms serving to raise the bar for how users connect / communicate – their respective ramps in user and developer engagement may be unprecedented.
  • Decade-plus Internet usage / monetization ramps for mobile Internet in Japan plus desktop Internet in developed markets provide roadmaps for global ramp and monetization.
  • Massive mobile data growth is driving transitions for carriers and equipment providers.
  • Emerging markets have material potential for mobile Internet user growth. Low penetration of fixed-line telephone and already vibrant mobile value-added services mean that for many EM users and SMEs, the Internet will be mobile.

My partner at, Lon Safko, suggests that the explosion of social media is partly based on the fact that standard emerged in the 80’s and 90’s that permitted the ease of connectivity that social media requires.  He and I talk with clients often that the next explosion will be in mobile and the researchers at Morgan Stanley have don a great job of assembling the data and presenting it in their research.  Massive props to them for pulling together this work.

As part of the work we are doing in the ROI of Social Media Series, we will be interviewing organizations who understand that mobile plays a huge role and the need to develop global, mobile-based, interactive, social experiences will determine the winners and losers in the next wave of growth.