Mobile's future looks bright due to forecast growth in underlying technologies

A new report from advisory services firm PwC analyzes the rate of improvement in enabling technologies that are essential to mobile innovation. Those seven enabling components underlie mobile devices' ability to sense, analyze, store and connect information.

“Mobile computing…is generating heated competition for the future of end-user devices, which is creating a battle throughout the value chain, from chips to applications," said Tom Archer, PwC US technology sector leader. "We expect the same level of disruption in the mobile ecosystem to play out across the technology industry with major market players co-mingling in new ways, in some cases bringing competitors together and, in other cases, turning friends into foes.”

The PwC Mobile Technologies Index, included in the report, provides an overview of the components; subsequent reports will explore each component in detail. According to PwC, mobile devices and their supporting services will continue to run applications faster, store more data, create better pictures, and display information in brighter and more compelling images, driven by the seven components of the Mobile Technologies Index.

PwC forecasts a 42 percent combined compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of the Index between 2011 and 2015.  The firm forecasts growth rates for each of the seven enabling technologies from 2011 to 2015 as follows:

  • Device connectivity speed -- megabits per second per dollar (Mbps/$) will improve 37 percent CAGR, equating to four times faster in 2015 than in 2011.
  • Infrastructure speed -- average megabits per second will improve 54 percent CAGR.
  • Processor speed -- gigahertz per dollar (GHz/$) will improve 53 percent CAGR.
  • Memory -- gigabits per dollar (Gb/$) will improve 48 percent CAGR.
  • Storage -- gigabytes per dollar (GB/$) will improve 35 percent CAGR.
  • Image sensor -- Megapixels per dollar (MP/$) will improve 20 percent CAGR.
  • Display -- performance per dollar per square inch (P/$/in2) will improve 18 percent CAGR.  Performance is a weighted aggregation of resolution, brightness, power efficiency and other factors.

“The seven components, individually or collectively, are not likely to cause the next great disruption in the next five years without creative thinking about how to use them. Specifically, new capabilities, creative use cases and imaginative business models, or some combination, are more likely to produce game-changing mobile innovation,” said Kayvan Shahabi, PwC US technology sector advisory leader.

Click here for additional analysis and commentary on PwC’s Mobile Innovations Forecast.