The GDC Blog

Worldwide shipments of smart connected devices, smartphones, tablets and PCs, crossed 1 billion units in 2012 driven by emerging market growth. This represents a year over year increase of 29.1%, with growth of 41.3% in emerging markets.

In the mobile sphere, tablet volume grew by 111.3% in emerging markets and smart phone volume by 69.7%. Tablet growth is predicted to triple in emerging markets by 2017 according to the International Data Corporation.

What does this growth mean? Mobile banking and payment platforms will continue to grow uninhibited by a lack of infrastructure, farmers will have better access to information about weather and crop prices, and millions will be able to access the internet.

In Africa, mobile transfers are expected to reach $200 billion by 2015, or 18% of the continent’s GDP. The opportunities elsewhere are enormous. In India, where more people have access to a mobile phone than a toilet, approximately 90% of transactions still take place in cash. 70% of the country has access to a mobile phone according to Ericsson and m-commerce and mobile payments could be highly successful in capturing a larger portion of transactions.

Perhaps most promising is that despite shipping over 1 billion units, the “mobile revolution” is still in its beginning stages. The challenge now is for vendors, governments and citizens to create locally relevant applications, services and products based on the growing adoption of connected devices.