2016: The Year of One Billion Smartphones

In as little as four years, a staggering one billion people could own smartphones, according to new research from Forrester. A 28-page report forecasts that, by 2016, up to 350 million workers will use smartphones and over half of them will take their own devices to work (known as the BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device, trend).

With smartphones in everyone’s pockets, the app space will continue to boom. Forrest believes that apps will become a $56-billion market in 2016.

According to one of the report’s authors, Ted Schadler, the massive growth of these mobile miniature computers will require the adoption of a “new systems of engagement.” Businesses cannot afford to ignore mobile—in the blink of an eye, it will become as crucial as, if not more than, any other aspect of their digital strategy.

Mobile opens up new consumer information that was previously never available to businesses, such as location-based data, and behaviours are now much more publicly available. Combined with cloud delivery, expansive analytical tools, and social media, more context surrounds consumers than ever before. The smart businesses will readily take advantage of this sea change.