An estimated 1.4 billion people or a quarter of the world’s population will use the Internet on a regular basis this year. This is expected to surpass 1.9 billion unique users or 30 percent of the world’s population in 2012, according to IDC’s Digital Marketplace Model and Forecast.
IDC expects mobile devices to surpass the number of PC’s as means in gaining access to the Internet by 2012. Downloading music, videos, and ringtones will become the number one activity among mobile Internet users worldwide by that time.
Here are some highlights of the study:
Users will access the Internet through more than 1.5 billion devices worldwide in 2008, including PCs, mobile phones, and online videogame consoles. By 2012, the number of devices accessing the Internet will double to more than 3 billion, half of which will be mobile devices.
China passed the United States in 2007 to become the country with the largest number of Internet users. China’s online population is forecast to grow from 275 million users in 2008 to 375 million users in 2012.
Nearly half of all Internet users will make online purchases in 2008. By 2012, there will be more than 1 billion online buyers worldwide making business to consumer (B2C) transactions worth $1.2 trillion. Business to business (B2B) eCommerce will be ten times larger, totalling $12.4 trillion worldwide in 2012.
Worldwide spending on Internet advertising will total $65.2 billion in 2008, which is nearly 10% of all ad spending across all media. This share is expected to reach 13.6% by 2011 as Internet ad spending grows to $106.6 billion worldwide.
Roughly 40% of all Internet users worldwide currently have mobile Internet access. The number of mobile Internet users will reach 546 million in 2008, nearly twice as many as in 2006, and is forecast to surpass 1.5 billion worldwide in 2012.