Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg

Delving into the mobile world is like lifting a garden log to find termites right next to your house. It’s a parallel ecosystem that’s easy to ignore but doing so invites trouble. Just ask Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who is now trying hard to convince skeptical investors he finally ‘gets’ mobile.

“It is really clear from the stats and my own personal intuition that a lot of the energy is going to mobile, not desktop,” Mr Zuckerberg said at a conference recently. “That is the future. We are going to be doing killer stuff there.” He had to say that because his shares were getting hurt and lack of mobility was one of the reasons. But what about you – are you still skeptical?

If that’s the case, and even if it’s not, the following bullet points are for you. They’ve been accumulated over the past couple of weeks in the course of researching Travel Appy and make a compelling case for mobile readiness – even if you are not Mark Zuckerberg.

  • Airfare search site Skyscanner said on September 18 that almost a third of the 30 million monthly visits to its site come via mobile, a figure that increases to more than 50% in some Asian markets. There have been more than 10 million downloads of its App.
  • Joe Megibow, GM of Expedia.com, this month told Bloomberg that 50% of its US hotel purchases could be made via mobile devices within two years.
  • In the same Bloomberg story, EBay “which is already seeing consumers buying more than 9000 cars and more than 340,000 car accessories a week via handheld devices, believes mobile purchases could account for half its total transactions in a few years”.
  • ‘It’s probably more than two, but less than 10 years away,’ said Steve Yankovich, VP of EBay Mobile.
  • Nieslen reports that mobile web page views in Australia during July increased by 130% year on year. July mobile page views were up 12% compared with June. That’s a 12% increase in just one month.
  • It’s not just the young folk using smartphones, says Nielsen, with 42% of Australian ‘Baby Boomers’ owning a smartphone, although bizarrely Nokia is the top choice at 42% followed by Samsung (18%) and Apple (13%).
  • A study by Concur released this week of 1000 shows British business travellers shows that 61% use mobile apps while on the road. Mapping applications were the most popular.
  • Stayz.com.au, Australia’s largest holiday house site, said in July that 20% of its website traffic is now coming from mobile users. It has launched an iPhone App.
  • Wotif.com said 9% of its bookings are mobile generated.
  • Hotels.com regional VP Johan Svanstrom said Hotels.com mobile bookings are running “slightly higher” than Wotif.com. “We see very strong penetration in Asia, and the US is driving strong growth,” he said.
  • Smartphone penetration of Australia’s population aged 16 or more increased 40% in the past year from 37% in Q1 2011 to 52% in Q1 2012, according to a Google survey.
  • 34% of those who use their smartphones to search are looking for travel information, while the average smartphone user has 7 paid apps installed.
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