Ready or Not…Mobile is Coming!

Ready or not, mobile is a growing trend that your church needs to deal with. Many churches have barely launched websites let alone reach out to those in your community using mobile messaging and applications.

Many people in the church believe this it is unnecessary. Many people believe it is just a fad.

The data suggests otherwise…

Mobile usage is growing….and getting smarter.

According to a presentationgiven at Google’s Thinkmobile conference in February 2011, mobile platforms are hitting critical mass across the globe. According to Cisco Visual Networking Index, they forecast that global mobile data traffic should grow 26x over the next 5 years. Smartphone penetration is growing exponentially across the globe.

Here are some trends going on across the globe…

Explosive growth of Mobile in Africa: Africans are buying mobile phones at a world record rate, with take-up soaring by 550% in five years, research shows. Growth is expected to remain robust, says the Information Economy Report, published by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad). The regional mobile operator MTN forecasts an average mobile penetration of 80% by 2012 in its 15 African markets. A 2009 ITU report provides details on the explosive growth trends in Africa.

A Move to a “Smarter” Asia: According to a report from “M-Commerce Trends,” the smartphone market in Asia will reach 200 million users by 2016, double that of the 100 million level in 2010 and growing at a compounding annual rate of 12 percent. This constitutes over 32 percent of mobile subscriptions in the region, which is expected to increase to 54 percent penetration levels by 2015. In a region where PC access is limited, web-connected devices are the great enabler – giving Internet access to people even while they are on the move.

A “wireless”connected Latin America: Mobile Connections in Latin America exceeds half a billion or 88.2 percent of the population vs. 6.4 percent for fixed broadband and 23.4 percent for fixed line telephones. Latin Americans’ love to text with nearly 200 billion mobile messages weresent over Latin America carrier networks in 2008. 68 percent of wireless subscribers in Latin America use their SMS functionality at least weekly; nearly double the rate in developed nations.

Rising Smartphone penetration in Western Europe and U.S. According to Nielsen Research, show 40% percent of mobile consumers over 18 in the U.S. and Western Europe now have smartphones, according to July 2011 data. Fifty-five percent of those who purchased a new handset in the past three months reported buying a smartphone instead of a feature phone, up from 34 percent just a year ago.

U.S. Youth text more than text or watch TV. According to Nielsen research, today’s youth out-text all other age groups. In Q1 2011, teens 13-17 sent an average of 3,364 mobile texts per month, more than doubling the rate of the next most active texting demo, 18-24 year olds (1,640 texts per month). They also talk on the phone 32 percent less than older groups and 40% less television.

Mobile serves as a key source of connectivity within the U.S. Hispanic community. According to a Nielsen report called “A New Digital American Family,” U.S. Hispanics are more likely than the average household to have cell phones with Internet (55%) and video (40%) capabilities and text more than any other race or ethnicity, sending 943 texts per month. With smartphone penetration of 45 percent, Hispanic cell phone ownership matches that of Asians.

“Apps” over the Mobile Web show the future of smartphone usage. The average Android consumer in the U.S. spends 56 minutes per day actively interacting with the web and apps on their phone. Of that time, two-thirds is spent on mobile apps while one-third is spent on the mobile web.

African-Americans and Latinos continue to outpace whites in their use of data applications on handheld devices. According to PEW Internet, Latinos and African-Americans in the US are more likely to own a cell phone than white Americans, and they are more likely to use their device to access the mobile Web, email, social networking or to purchase a product.

The results are in…ready or not, your church needs to jump on the “mobile bandwagon.”

Whether it is teens in the U.S. or people in the street in the Philippines, mobile communications is becoming the de facto method to connect, communicate and relate to one another. Mobile provides real-time connectivity, 24×7 in the palm of someone’s hand.

Are you ready to place your church within an arm’s reach?

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