Digital Future Report: Mobile Will Lead the Charge in 2013

Technology predictions for 2013 are in and it’s all about mobile this year. According to comScore, the movement toward mobile is taking place everywhere from shopping to media to search — all of which combined could lead to a difficult economic transition for some companies as they struggle to stay ahead of rapidly changing consumer behavior.

According to comScore’s 48-page report, “the mobile transition is happening astonishingly quickly. Last year, smartphone penetration crossed 50 percent for the first time, led by Android phones. People spend 63 percent of their time online on desktop computers and 37 percent on mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets,” reports The New York Times.

Facebook and Google are battling for the top spot on mobile devices, much the same as they battle for the top spot on desktops.

“Google’s map app for the iPhone, which had been the most used mobile app, lost its No. 1 spot to Facebook after Apple kicked Google’s maps off the iPhone in October. Now, Facebook reaches 76 percent of the smartphone market and accounts for 23 percent of total time spent using apps each month. The next five most used apps are Google’s, which account for 10 percent of time on apps,” notes the article.

Meanwhile, other companies are just battling to stay relevant at all. Newspapers, search engines, maps, weather sites, and instant messaging services are all struggling with the mass exodus to mobile computing.

Online video is doing well with the transition. “Last year was also pivotal for online video, comScore said, as viewers increasingly seek the ability to watch video when and where they want. Watching TV shows online helped last year break viewing records, especially during the Olympics,” writes NYT. “In the United States, 75 million people a day watch online video and stream 40 billion videos a month, and viewing is driven by YouTube.”

Additionally, mobile ads and mobile shopping are both growing steadily. Mobile shopping accounted for 11 percent of e-commerce in the fourth quarter of 2012, up three percent over two years ago, a promising sign for e-commerce.