Smartphones and the internet across the developing and emerging world

PG_15.03.11_Internet-Access_640px_WebThe Pew Research Center has just released a report on my favourite topic – mobile phones in the emerging economies of the developing world – with some surprising results.

Technology-Report-14And it demonstrates the so called leapfrogging of legacy infrastructure, in this case, the landline.

Technology-Report-13These numbers demonstrate the emergence of globally connected consumers, regardless of whether they have smartphone access or not. The implications for economic impact, not just e-commerce or conventional retail, are far more than we may perceive at the first instance.

As first noted back in 2006, when your friendly neighbourhood vegetablewallah has a phone in her hand, it changes the rate of speed of information flow, with significant impact on social and economic evolution. Upward mobility now includes aspirational values, not just income related status symbols.

Some earlier thinking on this topic:
Liminal cyberspace: The next billion online Dec 15, 2007
Lowering barriers: Its about access, not the device Dec 15, 2012

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