Many merchants wonder about the future of mobile commerce, and whether consumers will access the Internet, and purchase products, from mobile devices. We wonder this, too. To get an idea of the relative popularity of mobile devices, we've looked at how many of them were sold in 2009 compared to the number of computers.
We found that mobile Internet devices (MIDs) outsell computers. In 2009, 450 million MIDs were sold, according to Information Week, a business technology magazine. Conversely, in 2009, 306 million computers were sold according to Gartner, a consulting firm.
The process for consumers to purchase products on mobile devices, and for merchants to create sites that facilitate these purchases, is being made easier by third-party services. For example, mobile payment providers have developed solutions to avoid entering a full credit card number (and expiration date) to complete a mobile-originated purchase. One of those providers is mPayy, whose CEO we interviewed a while back in "Quick Query: mPayy CEO Explains Mobile Payments." Other services have arisen that simplify the process of developing mobile applications. We profiled one of those, AppMakr, in "AppMakr CEO on Affordable iPhone, Android App Development."
So mobile devices already outsell computers. The question is when, if ever, will consumers migrate to purchasing products from mobile devices? That’s the migration that all of us will monitor.