Market research firm IDC has released their latest Worldwide New Media Market Model (NMMM), which forecasts that mobile Internet access will soon surpass the number of wired connections in the US. The prediction comes as more Americans have access to Internet-enabled smartphones and tablets, resulting in less dependence on home PCs to get online.
According to the study, IDC expects the number of mobile Internet users to grow by a compound annual growth rate of 16.6 percent between now and 2015. Such growth would see the number of users accessing the Internet through PCs stagnate and eventually slowly decline. The trend is expected to follow suit in Western Europe and Japan as well.
"Forget what we have taken for granted on how consumers use the Internet," said Karsten Weide, research vice president, Media and Entertainment. "Soon, more users will access the Web using mobile devices than using PCs, and it's going to make the Internet a very different place."
Worldwide, the total number of users who have Internet access will grow 40 percent from 2010 to 2015, from 2 billion to 2.7 billion. Business to consumer ecommerce spending is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 12.7 percent, topping out at $1,285 billion by 2015.
Steve Jobs popularized the pending post-PC era, a time when traditional desktop computers would take a step back and newer technologies like tablets and smartphones would replace what the desktop had done for so many years. With big names like HP contemplating a PC spinoff, annual tablet shipments expected to hit 250 million in just a few short years and a tablet-friendly version of Windows just around the bend, it seems that the post-PC era may be here sooner than most anticipated.