The other day I came across data from a report by Portio Research, Mobile Messaging Futures 2011-2015. I thought it would be fun to break down the data and see what (if any) conclusions we could draw.

The first stat that struck me was the number of mobile subscribers across five major global regions:

What strikes me about these stats is how flat each of the lines are (except for Asia- Pacific of course). What this means to me is that mobile penetration in not just the the U.S.A. (obvious), but also in other regions is nearing full capacity. It also means that, despite significant penetration to date, there are still a ton of non-mobile citizens in the Asia Pacific Region.

The next statistic that caught my eye is the number of mobile email users:

Looks like significant growth across all the regions through 2015. That said, being a math person, when I see two numbers I like to divide them (shout out to an accounting professor of mine). Here’s what the percentages look like when we divide number of mobile email users by number of mobile subscribers:

As you can see, mobile email majority penetration in the USA is coming up quick, as in next year (non-coincidentally I suppose in line with smartphone penetration stats). That said, Europe doesn’t even look to see majority mobile email percentage until after 2015 – despite being the second most mobile-email penetrated region in the world.

Let’s do the same exercise with the next stat listed in the study: Mobile IM. (For those curious, mobile IM is sending messages via a data plan as opposed to via the carrier network). Here’s are raw figures for number of users:

Dividing into number of mobile subscribers we get:

Similar trend as before, except mobile IM doesn’t look to hit majority for any region until 2014. Clearly, mobile email will become a crucially important marketing channel before mobile IM.

Next figures on the list are where things really start to get interesting: SMS and MMS. Here are the raw figures for both messaging types:

Notice that we switched from millions to billions as our graph unit. As we have pointed out before, SMS and MMS look to demonstrate significant growth in both APAC and North America through 2015.

What’s even more striking, at least in our opinion, is dividing these SMS figures into the mobile subscriber numbers. Here’s what you get:

I was surprised too when I first did the calculation. That’s right, according to Portio Research, SMS traffic through each mobile subscriber in North America will eclipse 10,400 (per year) by 2015. That’s up from 8,717 in 2011. And MMS through each North American subscriber in 2015? 381. This is to say that in 2015 the amount of SMS traffic per North American subscriber will be 27 times that of the amount of MMS traffic. Or that SMS traffic per mobile subscriber per month will be roughly 870, or 30 per day.

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2 Responses to Stats: Mobile Subscribers, SMS, MMS, Mobile IM, Mobile Email Through 2015

  1. Quora says:

    Will SMS (i.e. text messaging) still be popular in 10 years?…

    Here are the SMS stats through 2015 from Portio Research: http://blog.msgme.com/2011/11/18/stats-mobile-subscribers-sms-mms-mobile-im-mobile-email-through-2015/. So for the next five years I think that SMS will continue to grow in reach and scale. Howe…

  2. Quora says:

    Is text messaging (SMS) usage expected to level off in developed countries in the next few years?…

    According to data rom Portio Research, SMS will continue to rise  in APAC and North America, but level off in Africa/Europe/LA through 2015. http://blog.msgme.com/2011/11/18/stats-mobile-subscribers-sms-mms-mobile-im-mobile-email-through-2015/…

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