Worldwide mobility revenues are forecast to reach $1.57 trillion in 2017 -- that's an increase of 2.6 percent over 2016, according to the latest market study by International Data Corporation (IDC). Purchases of mobile hardware, software, and services will achieve a CAGR of 2.1 percent over the 2015-2020 forecast period -- eventually reaching $1.67 trillion in 2020.
Connectivity services will represent the largest category of mobility spending in 2017. Combined, connectivity and hardware will deliver more than 95 percent of all mobility revenues this year, with roughly two thirds coming from the consumer market.
Most of the remaining revenues will come from enterprise purchases of mobility services, applications, application development platforms, and security.
Global Mobile Market Development
Although hardware and services dominate mobility spending overall, apps and application development platforms represent the fastest growing areas of mobility with five-year CAGRs of 17.3 percent and 20.3 percent respectively.
"Mobility has moved from niche and novelty usage in business to a core end-user computing technology for enterprise workforces," said Phil Hochmuth, program director at IDC. "While devices and apps transform how workers do their jobs, mobile app platforms and services create entire new business models and customer interaction opportunities."
Banking, discrete manufacturing, and professional services will be the three commercial industries making the largest mobility investments in 2017 ($166.3 billion combined) and throughout the forecast period.
All three industries will make significant investments in application development platforms, applications, and the enterprise mobility services that support the planning, development, and final consumption of services through a mobile device.
The telecommunications industry will deliver the fastest spending growth over the 2015-2020 forecast period (4.2 percent CAGR), followed by process manufacturing, healthcare providers, and construction. Consumer mobility spending is forecast to deliver a CAGR of 2.5 percent.
Small offices with 1 to 9 employees will deliver the largest share of global mobility revenues, as these businesses purchase mobile devices, connectivity services, and mobility services as an affordable alternative to traditional IT solutions. Small offices will also deliver the fastest spending growth with a five-year CAGR of 2.6 percent.
Large and very large businesses (more than 500 employees) will invest more than $2.7 billion this year in mobile application development platforms and mobile applications as they seek to enhance worker productivity and provide new capabilities to customers and partners.
Outlook for Mobile Communications Growth
From a regional perspective, Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan), led by strong investments in China, will be the largest overall mobility market in terms of revenues, which are forecast to exceed $500 billion in 2018.
The U.S. market represents the second largest region, followed by Western Europe. Latin American is forecast to deliver the fastest revenue growth (4.1 percent CAGR) while Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan) and the Middle East and Africa (MEA) will also see revenue growth greater than the overall market.