Meeker Delivers Annual Internet Trends Report

Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers partner Mary Meeker delivered her much anticipated annual address on internet trends this Wednesday at the Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, California.

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In a presentation that encompassed over 250 PowerPoint slides, Meeker’s discussion touched on a wide array of internet-related topics, including trends in smartphone purchasing, internet consumption habits among adults, pricing and competition between U.S. and Chinese firms.

One notable trend is the lack of growth in both smartphone sales and internet users. According to Meeker, the market for internet-connected handheld devices is approaching saturation, one indication that growth will be an uphill battle for leading phone producers like Apple and Samsung in the future. Meeker also noted that the overall percentage of people using the internet has stagnated to 7% in 2017, when it was a 12% increase.

Along with the trend in lower sales, Meeker drew attention to the fact that prices for these devices has failed to increase as well. The adoption of smartphones in less-developed markets is one reason that prices for the devices are being driven down.

One area of growth was voice-controlled products like the Amazon Echo. That company saw its installation base for the popular in-home device grow by 10 million in the fourth quarter.

Meeker posited that the speed of adoption of technology amongst consumers has increased. The prominent venture capitalist, who Forbes voted 77th most powerful woman in the world in 2014, noted that it took consumers about 80 years to fully embrace the dishwasher. The consumer internet, on the other hand, took only 10 years to be fully adopted.

Another of Meeker’s observations was that Chinese firms are quickly catching up to U.S. companies in the competition for the world’s biggest internet companies by market cap. China currently boasts nine of the world’s top 20 companies, while the U.S. has 11. Only five years ago, China has two such companies whereas the United States had nine.

Kleiner Perkins has released the full deck of Meeker’s presentation and it can be viewed online.