Why it matters: Mary Meeker is considered by many to be the preeminent expert when it comes to analyzing the tech sector. Her annual reports highlight emerging online trends and how they fit into the overall technological landscape.
Venture capitalist Mary Meeker at the Code Conference on Wednesday presented her annual Internet Trends report. The expansive report covered a wide variety of topics including smartphone shipments, Internet usage and customer data.
The Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers partner found 2017 to be the first year in which smartphone unit shipments exhibited zero growth. This isn’t entirely surprising, Meeker notes, as new growth gets harder to find when markets reach mainstream.
Similar trends were observed when looking at global Internet user growth. While growth in this category is still occurring, it’s happening at a much slower rate. Meeker observed growth of just seven percent last year compared to 12 percent growth in 2016.
At 3.6 billion, the number of Internet users has surpassed half the world’s population.
Growth may be harder to come by once hitting 50 percent market penetration, Meeker highlights, but Internet usage growth remains solid. In 2017, the average adult spent 5.9 hours a day using digital media – be it on a desktop / laptop, a smartphone / tablet or other type of connected device (although more than half of a user’s time is spent on mobile).
Meeker also touched on the sensitive subject of user data – specifically, how it can play an important role in customer satisfaction, drive user engagement and improve the predictability of many services. Of course, given the string of recent data breaches, both companies and consumers are taking action to address privacy concerns.
Over the past 12 months, 64 percent of consumers responding to a survey said they’ve deleted or avoided certain apps due to data privacy concerns while 47 percent admitted to adjusting mobile privacy settings and 28 percent said they’ve disabled cookies. Furthermore, 27 percent of respondents said they don’t visit or close certain websites and 26 percent now closely read privacy agreements.
Meeker’s 294-page report can be viewed in full below.