Smartphones are taking over from cellphones, the cloud is enjoying high double-digit growth rates, and turnover from mobile data services is increasing steadily. Figures just released by the industry association BITKOM at CeBIT in Hanover show that there is still a lot of untapped potential in mobile business. BITKOM’s president, Dieter Kempf, would have liked to have seen the exhibitors from last week’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona showcase their products at CeBIT as well. But he was still satisfied with what he saw in Hanover, where over 500 companies specializing in mobile applications and social media – including 200 startups in the mobile apps field – strutted their stuff.
Mobile data services: Big growth gives way to mainstream
BITKOM expects more than €9 billion in revenue in the mobile data services market in 2013, a 7% increase over last year. This, although growth has slowed in recent years, from 16% in 2011 to only 8.6% in 2012. For CeBIT CEO Frank Pörschmann, this is a sign that “soon, all the fundamental conditions for mobile business will have been met.” As Pörschmann sees it, “in two to three years’ time, everything will be mobile, so this topic won’t be as high on the agenda any more.” Once the hype has died down, mobile business will have become mainstream, a trend that current sales figures for cellphones and smartphones seem to confirm: Market researchers estimate that in 2013, four out of five mobile telephones will be smartphones, compared to only 17% in 2009.
Cloud business grows 53%
BITKOM does, however, see long-term growth in cloud business. The association expects cloud revenues to rise 53% in 2013 to €4.6 billion – by 2016, this figure will have climbed to €13.7 billion, according to statistics from BITKOM and Experton Group. Cloud services cover everything from file sharing to social networks and allow users to take advantage of an IT infrastructure that was previously only available to large enterprises, without having to invest a lot of money – an enormous benefit for small and medium-sized companies.
Sluggish growth in EU
More than a quarter of all business in the €2.7 billion strong global information and communication technology market is made in the U.S. (26.8%), followed by the European Union (21.8%). Companies in Germany alone generate 4.5% of this global revenue, yet growth in the euro area is currently waning. The EU is projected to grow only 0.9%, placing it far behind China (+8.9%), the U.S. (+6.5%), and the “rest of the world” (+6.7%).