Mobile generated €2.85trn in revenues and 11m jobs in 2014 globally. Wait, what?

16 Jan 2015

Mobile is bigger business than we may have thought, according to a report from the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) that reveals the industry brought in global revenues of €2.85trn.

In a lengthy piece of research, mobile – the defining industry of present-day technology – also created 11m jobs worldwide and contributed €1trn to the GDP of just six countries in 2014.

But don’t think that’s trickling down into your pockets any time soon. Six of the 25 most valuable companies in the world “are participants in the mobile value chain” – Apple, Google, China Mobile, Alibaba, Facebook and Verizon.

Growth beyond your wildest dreams

In fact, this mammoth sextet have grown their revenues, on average, 35pc annually in recent years.

“Facebook alone grew 78pc year-on-year between 2009 and 2013, with mobile currently representing 88pc of its user base (of which 60pc are mobile-only users) and accounting for approximately 66pc of its revenue.”

Mobile Revolution

Boston Consulting Group’s report shows remarkable revenues and jobs in the mobile technology industry

Trinity of success

The report highlighted three states in particular that are reaping the rewards of this mobile age: the US, China and South Korea.

South Korea is the most advanced mobile industry, the US is home to powerhouses such as Apple, Qualcomm, Facebook and Google, and China dominates the low-price mobile revolution.

BCG’s report highlights the ‘mobile divide’, whereby those pioneering the mobile age are leaving behind those reluctant to follow.

In the six countries evaluated, closing the mobile divide among SMEs could add 7m jobs over the next three years, more than the total number of mobile value chain jobs in these countries.

A developing scenario

But it’s not just global behemoths that can capitalise on this industrial and economic goldmine.

Innovative uses of modern technology, in fighting back against violence and treating diseases, are two key ways whereby developing countries can reap serious rewards from this era.

India is a case study within the report, given that just 5pc of users there own personal computers. Flipkart, India’s largest e-commerce marketplace, has been downloaded by 10m users already in India, catering to the huge numbers of people who rely on mobile devices for commerce.

“Consumers can use the Flipkart app to search, share, compare prices, and shop from thousands of third-party vendors in more than 70 categories (including clothing, appliances, and power tools) – generating major purchasing power for customers previously unable to access the internet.”

But more can be done to greater aid those growing more and more reliant on mobile technologies.

“Fundamental innovation is required to boost speed, extend battery life, and strengthen connectivity. More network rollouts are needed to deliver better service to more consumers at lower cost.”

Global mobile revolution image via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic