The widespread adoption of smartphones and tablets with the resulting growth of the mobile industry has been remarkable. The iPhone was the mobile story of 2008, with sales figures surpassing Apple’s previous flagship product, the iPod, by a significant margin. More recently, Android devices have taken over iOS, with a market share of 81% in 2015 (Klenier Perns Caufield Byers [KPCB], 2016). According to SimilarWeb’s survey, mobile accounted for 55.67% of the total traffic to top sites in the US in Q4 2015 (SimilarWeb, 2016).
The growth of the mobile industry has created many opportunities for entrepreneurs; however, startups must also contend with ever-changing technology trends, consumer behaviour and corporate strategies of major players like Apple, Google, Microsoft and Samsung. Knowing how to navigate this changing landscape will help startups leverage new opportunities while mitigating risk from potential pitfalls.
On this webpage, you will find resources that cover the mobile landscape in general, exploring statistics, trends and news that affect all mobile categories. These will give you a broad perspective of the industry, while other pages in the Startup Library, including Mobile advertising, Location-based services and Mobile apps, offer resources that target particular mobile sectors.
This resource contains the following sections:
I. Business of the Mobile Industry
The resources below will help you find funding sources geared toward the mobile technology industry. Be sure to also check out our Funding your startup page for links to general funding programs and opportunities.
VC and Angel Investment Funds
These Ontario-based venture funds invest significantly in mobile technology startups:
Extreme Ventures Partners: This program offers mentoring as well as access to the Extreme Ventures network, in addition to funding.
Golden Venture Partners:Golden Venture Partners works with mobile startups looking for seed and early-stage funding. They also provide mentorship―helping early-stage startups to advance their strategic vision, attract and hire top talent, and develop sales strategies.
Hedgewood: Hedgewood focuses on early-stage companies that develop web-based and mobile application technologies. Startups can apply by submitting a business plan.
Relay Ventures: Relay Ventures focuses on mobile technology startups. It takes an active part in the development of the startup by providing a network of partners in the mobile ecosystem. Relay Ventures also manages the BlackBerry Partners Fund, which focuses on mobile driven companies and has $150 million in available capital.
Rogers Venture Partners:The investment portfolio of Rogers Venture Partners consists mainly of mobile technology startups. They employ a hands-on approach and work closely with the companies in which they invest.
Wavefront: Wavefront is a business accelerator for companies within the Canadian wireless industry and for non-wireless companies who seek to leverage mobile technology. Wavefront provides training, advisory and testing services. It also connects companies with critical resources, partners and opportunities to facilitate company growth, acceleration of time to market, and global expansion. Wavefront is a non-profit member of the National Centres of Excellence of Canada.
II. Mobile Industry Statistics & Demographics
Look to these resources to find relevant statistics and demographic figures for the mobile industry.
Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA): The CWTA represents cellular, messaging, mobile radio, and mobile satellite carriers as well as the vendors that support the industry. The Facts & Figures page of its website offers data on Canadian wireless phone subscribers as well as a number of industry study reports.
International Telecommunication Union (ITU): ITU is a United Nations agency that develops international technical standards for information communication technology. The ITU produces many free downloadable publications. Its annual report, Measuring the Information Society, tracks ICT development around the world using two benchmarking tools:
- ICT Development Index: This measure evaluates a country’s information infrastructure and ICT uptake.
- ICT Price Basket: This metric tracks the cost and affordability of ICT services.
On ITU’s website, the Statistics & Database sections both provide free information on mobile usage. The content includes data on mobile broadband subscriptions that shows the growth in mobile use at country, continent and global levels.
Many additional ITU publications are available for a fee, such as its annual Yearbook of Statistics, which collects data (e.g., mobile subscriptions, traffic, revenue) from questionnaires sent to global ICT governing bodies.
mobiForge: mobiForge caters to mobile marketers. Its compendium of mobile statistics provides data on such topics as the number of mobile subscribers, handset market share, the mobile web, and consumer mobile behaviour.
StatCounter: StatCounter is a free interactive tool that allows users to compare the usage rates of various mobile and desktop OS and software technology over different time periods and geographic regions. The statistics are based on the aggregated data of more than 3 million websites, which in total exceed 15 billion page views per month.
Pew Internet & American Life Project: The Pew Internet & American Life Project is an initiative from the Pew Research Center that investigates issues, attitudes and trends that shape online American life. The following publications pertain to mobile usage in the US and are based on data collected through telephone surveys.
- Technology Device Ownership—2015: This report shows the growth in mobile devices in comparison to other digital devices over the past decade.
U.S. Smartphone Use in 2015: This report dives into statistics on how smartphone ownership has changed the way people conduct various Internet and digital activities.
- Pew Internet: Mobile (2014) – This study highlights mobile internet facts and figures culled from various Pew Internet Project surveys.
Long-Form Reading Shows Signs of Life in Our Mobile News World (2016): This report was produced by staff of the Pew Research Center’s Journalism Project. It highlights statistics related to mobile news consumption.
Top 10 Mobile Internet Trends (Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers [KPCB], 2011): Prepared by influential analysts Mary Meeker and Matt Murphy, this slide deck presents the top ten trends that are defining the global mobile internet industry, including social networking, mobile advertising and mobile commerce. It contains key global statistics on mobile usage, mobile versus desktop, and platform comparisons. KPCB’s site also offers a report prepared by Mary Meeker, Internet Trends 2016, which sheds additional light on mobile topics.
III. Mobile Industry Developer Information
The following reports and websites survey the mobile industry ecosystem and highlight potential opportunities for the mobile entrepreneur.
comScore: These comScore white papers provide insights on the mobile industry:
- 2016 Global Digital Future in Focus: This annual report examines the global digital landscape, including mobile media consumption.
- The State of the U.S. Mobile Market (2016): This presentation on the mobile media revolution features trends in mobile advertising, apps and more.
- 2015 Canada Digital Future in Focus: This annual report explores trends in web usage, multi-platform engagement, online video and digital advertising in the Canadian marketplace, as well as projections for the future.
- Turning Big Data into Mobile Subscriber Insights (2013) – This report suggests that subscriber big data can be leveraged to increase customer satisfaction, anticipate consumer needs, establish best devices and platforms for consumers, and determine incentives to attract and retain subscribers.
ComScore publishes numerous other white papers and presentations on digital and mobile industry topics that can be accessed for free.
GSMA: The GSMA is an association of mobile operators and related companies. It promotes the GSM telephone system and standardization within the industry. Topics covered on the GSMA website include:
The GSMA is also involved with projects in a variety of areas such as:
Also, download their report, GSMA Mobile Economy 2016 which examines the social, economic and technological impact of mobile proliferation around the world.
VisionMobile: VisionMobile is a mobile market analyst firm that delivers research reports, industry maps, training courses and advisory services. It offers the following notable publication free of charge:
- Developers Economics Q3 2016: State of the Developer Nation – This study looks at the latest trends and discusses platform consolidation, languages, consumer vs. enterprise revenues, as well as developer tools and segments.
Developer Economics: This website from Vision Mobile provides articles, reports, case studies and developer tool benchmarks to help mobile app publishers grow their business.
Wireless Industry Partnership Connector (WIP): WIP aims to connect stakeholders in the mobile ecosystem by encouraging discussion and joint creative efforts and streamlining the mobile innovation process. Its site also includes a blog and event listings.
IV. Tracking Latest Developments in the Mobile Industry
These news sources provide the latest on the fast-paced developments in the mobile industry.
Mobile Commerce Daily: Mobile Commerce Daily publishes news on a wide range of topics as they relate to the mobile industry: advertising, gaming, databases, social networks, music, payments, and legal and privacy issues.
Mobile Future: Mobile Future is a coalition of mobile companies and non-profit organizations dedicated to informing and educating the public by providing news and commentary on the mobile and wireless industries. Mobile Future offers news, insights into key issues (e.g., broadband, m-health, green technology), blog posts, and a resources section that features different reports on industry trends and developments.
MobileSyrup.com: MobileSyrup.com aggregates Canadian and International mobile news, reporting on devices, platforms, carriers, trends, hardware reviews and more.
The Canadian Telecom Summit: At this annual conference, speakers address issues that affect the mobile industry, including technology trends, business strategies, policies, regulations and content development.
Mobile Startups TO (Meetup): Part of the Meetup network, Mobile Startups Toronto hosts casual gatherings where early-stage mobile startups and developers can discuss the unique challenges they face as entrepreneurs. Also check the Mobile Technology Meetups listing for more local Toronto meet-ups.
Wavefront Wireless Summits: This event consists of three summits:
- M2M Summit – This conference explores machine-to-machine technology and the related business ecosystem.
- Partner Summit – At this forum, participants can pitch their company to a global wireless company in one-on-one meetings.
- Business Summit – This summit examines how wireless technology is changing the way companies do business.
AnDevCon: Billed as the “Android developer conference,” this annual conference features presentations, workshops, panel discussions, tutorials and classes for Android developers.
CTIA: Held in Las Vegas, this annual convention showcases exhibitors on the cutting edge of mobile technology.
Mobile Media Summit: The Mobile Media Summit is a set of conferences held in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco that examine issues related to mobile content as well as trends within the larger industry. These forums explore areas such as advertising, branding, mobile videos, and market strategies for apps.
Mobile World Congress: Held in Barcelona, Spain, the Mobile World Congress is the world’s largest mobile conference and is organized by the GSMA . The event is mainly an exhibition for the mobile industry, featuring mobile operators, device manufacturers, technology providers, vendors and content owners from around the world. The GSMA also organizes the similarly themed Mobile Asia Expo and the NFC & Mobile Money Summit.