I’ve been following Benedict Evans for a while, and particularly a thought he’s been developing for a few months—that it no longer makes sense to talk about “the internet” as opposed to the (more constrained) “mobile internet”, but rather “the internet” and the (more constrained) “desktop internet:”

Mobile is not a subset of the internet anymore, that you use only if you’re waiting for a coffee or don’t have a PC in front of you – it’s becoming the main way that people use the internet. It’s not mobile that’s limited to a certain set of locations and use cases – it’s the PC, that can only do the web (and yes, legacy desktop apps, if you care, and consumers don’t) and only be used sitting down. It’s time to invert that mental model – there is not the ‘mobile internet’ and the internet. Rather, if anything, it’s the internet and the ‘desktop internet’. …

Moreover, this is not just about people in rich countries. Of 5bn adults on earth today, close to 4bn and growing have a mobile phone today, almost all of whom will convert to smartphones over the next few years. The entry price for Android has already fallen to under $40. There’ll be lots of grey areas in this – what people pay for connectivity, and to charge their phone – but mobile is a universal product in a way that the PC never was. Indeed, the lower your income, the more valuable communications becomes. …

This is the first time that tech has had a universal product – it sold mainframes to big companies and PCs to small companies and middle-class families, but smartphones get used by pretty much everyone on earth – even refugees crossing the Afghan desert.