Back in 2008, in our very first wave of ID, we asked Irish 12-29s a simple question: “If they had to choose, which could they not live without: TV, Mobile Phone or Internet”?

The mobile phone won out overall, particularly for teenagers. However, in our most recent wave of ID, the Internet has moved ahead to claim victory. We also saw over 1/3rd of young people claiming they were using their mobile less to communicate with friends, and using online methods instead. And over a 1/3rd who said they felt more comfortable communicating with friends online than using their mobile.

Luckily, we’ve reached the point where that question is just no longer relevant. The lines between mobile, internet and even TV, are not just blurred, they’re quickly becoming obsolete.

Every year for the last five years, some brave soldier has pronounced it “The Year of the Mobile”. And every year they’ve been wrong. But I’m fairly confident that we’re finally seeing a tipping point, as mobile internet becomes liberated from the confines of the geekiest techies. In this research wave 1/5th of 12-29s said they are using their mobile phones to go online on a daily basis, and 30% are using mobile internet on a weekly basis. Those figures are positively mainstream.

According to Mashable, the history of mobile, can now be divided into pre-iPhone and post-iPhone. They say the impact that the iPhone has had, on both the mobile industry and computing industry in general, cannot be overstated.  Yes mobile internet has been around a while, and LG were the first to release a touchscreen phone….but Apple were the ones who really cracked it.

And crack it they did. There are reportedly somewhere between a quarter and a half a million iPhone users in Ireland. Not all of that mobile internet usage is being done on iPhones, but they’ve bestowed a new relevance onto the concept of a Smartphone. The movement we’re seeing is a ripple effect, from the iPhone out.

A new wave of mobile is now upon us.

Neasa

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