Dave Goldberg: Barcelona and the 6%

“We could simply pack our bags and catch a plane to Barcelona ‘cause this city’s a drag.”

– Holiday in Spain by Counting Crows

Dave GoldbergIf you’re reading this, there’s a decent chance I’m catching you on a mobile device. And according to the latest Pew data, 6% of U.S. consumers are mobile ONLY. No home phone. No computer. And from what I saw at Mobile World Congress(MWC) last month in Barcelona, this number is guaranteed to rise.

One of the major conversations at the conference centered on device form factors – they’re getting bigger. Samsung, Nokia and Sony all announced new phones with larger screen sizes, and Huawei showed off its new “phablet,” a phone-tablet combo with a 7.1-inch screen.

The other major trend we kept hearing about is the rise of wearables. Samsung announced a new smartwatch family – the Gear2, Gear Neo, and Gear Fit – while perpetual rumors about a similar Apple device continue to swirl. Things like smartwatches have yet to prove themselves, but simpler wearable technology that tracks daily habits without incorporating other messaging and connectivity components (FitBit, Nike Fuel, etc.) have clearly filled a consumer need.

Another trend that continues to gain momentum is the increasing use of consumer friendly tools and services in a business setting. The trend of people bringing their own devices, or BYOD, has been around for quite some time. It’s now evolved into BYOS – or bring your own services. I participated in a panel discussing BYOD/BYOS, along with executives from Evernote, Merck, AT&T and others.

As part of the panel we unveiled the results of a SurveyMonkey Audience survey to find out how many of us are downloading and using services on our mobile devices at work, independent of those recommended or offered by our employers. Here’s what we found:

Employees are spending more and more time on their phones for work purposes

  • Almost 30% (29%) of people report that half of their time – or more – is spent using their mobile phones for work
  • More than half of respondents (56%) report an increase in using their mobile phone for business over the past three years

And most believe they will spend even more time on their phone for work in the future

  • The majority of respondents (52%) believe that they will increase their use of mobile phones for business in the future

Now that employees are bringing their own devices, they are bringing their own services, software and applications into the workplace

  • Slightly more employees (31%) report bringing ALL their own services into the workplace vs. those that only use services approved/suggested/provided by their employer (28%)
  • 29% of respondents report using a mix of services/applications that they downloaded themselves and those provided by their employers
    • 8% do this a lot
    • 8% do this a good amount
    • 13% do this some of the time

With productivity tools continuing to be more consumer friendly, like Box, Dropbox, Evernote, Google office apps, etc., and more mobile (we launched our own mobile app last month), this is another trend that will continue to generate lots of momentum. Innovations like these, and the others I saw during my trip to MWC, are going to accelerate the growth of that 6% mobile only number. Gracias, Barcelona!


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