The Second Smartphone Revolution

The Second Smartphone Revolution

The first smartphone revolution involved about 2.5 billion people over the last decade. According to Fred Wilson’s recent blog post, “The mobile revolution from 2007 to 2015 in the West was more about how we accessed the internet than what apps we used..."

link to smartphone chart on twitter

Notice that the number of smartphones in the world is set to double by the year 2020.

The top apps lists on Apple’s Store showcase this from social networking to online banking and bill pay. It took the web to our phones.

But things are beginning to shift globally.

The second 2.5 billion people are gaining access and fast. These people:

  • Live outside the developed world.
  • Are looking for essential services that aren’t developed: financial services, access to education, creative means of transport, etc.
  • Are interested in things that matter more than seeing where your friends are and where they went last night.

We aren’t done with the smartphone revolution. For those of us working outside of the Western tech world, it’s just beginning.

This second tier of smartphone adoption will require new business models. It’s not that hard to copy an app. It’s very hard to copy a business model.

“If you ask me where the next big whitespace for VC is, I would post to the developing world. It doesn’t come without its risks and roadblocks, but it feels to me that it has enormous potential."

(photo via make it kenya)