mary meeker 2018 trends report

via Recode / Vox Media

The Mary Meeker slide deck is one of the most hotly anticipated documents in digital. Meeker is widely know as somewhat of a soothsayer for digital trends, she was the one who predicted a mobile vs. desktop tipping point as far back as 2008 to be reached in 2015 and, guess what? She was right. It’s very interesting reading but it is around 300 slides so we thought we would highlight some of the points we found to be particularly interesting.

  • Smartphone shipments have now flat-lined. Yes, that’s right, 0% growth in smartphone shipments. As the news from Dixons Carphone Warehouse has illustrated, there seems to have been a change in the consumer’s views and people are generally hanging on to their phones longer.
  • In parallel the cost of smartphones is coming down (perhaps with the exception of the iPhone X) with lots of Android-based brands coming on to the market. Unsurprisingly, the computing power contained within these handsets is increasing.
  • 49% of people in the world now have access to the Internet. This, interestingly, is slowing in terms of growth, 5% vs. 7% in 2016.
  • Easy to use products are now firmly baked into the consumer mobile mind-set with payments, music and messaging as 3rd party installed apps are all part of the mobile users daily life.
  • There is now a massive data paradox. The use of data improves a user’s experience but users are more cautious than ever when sharing data — not least, we would assume because of the Facebook / Cambridge Analytica scandal.
  • eCommerce is rising by 2% each year in terms of the volume of transactions.
  • The cost of cloud computing is declining by around 1% per year as competition increases. The large players in Cloud computing are also opening up their infrastructure to spawn a new eco-system of cloud application providers.
  • AI, unsurprisingly, takes up a large section of Meeker’s deck. She explores the growth in education courses with an AI slant as well as the investments being put into things like Machine Learning by the big players.
  • Interestingly, the top five tech giants globally (GAFA + Microsoft) are in the same order as five years ago. Though Chinese challengers are rising up the charts.
  • China is rising faster than anyone – Mobile Payments alone are up 209% on last year.

What we found notable by its absence however was the lack of reference to Blockchain related applications using smart-contracts. Meeker does reference the growth of Crypto-currencies, but there is quite a lot of noise in the market around how Smart Contracts can revolutionise the wider tech world and, we would have thought, would have got more of a mention in her deck.

If you’d like to check out all the slides, here they are: