By the end of 2013, there will be more than 1 billion mobile Internet users worldwide, according to new research from IDC. The report also found that more than 2.2 billion people, or more than one-third of the world's population, will be using the Internet in some form -- up from 1.6 billion today.
The reasons for using the Internet will further evolve, according to the report. Currently, the most popular online activities of mobile Internet users are similar to those of other Internet users: using search engines, reading news and sports information, downloading music and videos, and sending/receiving e-mail and instant messages. But during the next four years, some of the fastest-growing applications for mobile Internet users will likely include making online purchases. In fact, more than 624 million Internet users worldwide will make online purchases in 2009, totaling nearly $8 trillion (both business-to-business and business-to-consumer). By 2013, worldwide e-commerce transactions will be worth more than $16 trillion.
Participating in online communities and creating blogs also will become more commonplace, according to IDC. In addition, mobile workers will become more prevalent, which will spur on the growth of online business applications and corporate e-mail systems.
Currently, the U.S. leads all countries in the number of total devices connected to the Internet. China, however, is the leader in the number of mobile online devices with nearly 85 million mobile devices connected to the Internet. The number of Internet devices in India, both mobile and fixed, is expected to grow commensurate with the number of Internet users.