Mobile Broadband Reaches Rich And Poor–With Or Without The Phone

The mobile Internet isn’t just for consumers who can’t afford a computer, or whose countries lack the infrastructure to support traditional Internet connections.

The research firm Parks Associates has put out an interesting report about mobile broadband. Unsurprisingly, smartphones will triple in sales in the United States alone, to 60 million units by 2013. What’s more compelling is the projected popularity of non-phone devices with mobile Internet connectivity–gadgets that definitely aren’t a staple for developing economies the way cell phones are.

U.S. consumers will buy more than five million connected cameras, more than one million 3G-enabled portable media players, and more than two million 3G-enabled “netbooks” (those mini-computers that made a big splash at CES).

Under that second category could be the iPod Touch, that iPhone-without-voice that came out more than a year ago. I actually had predicted the “iTouch” almost a year and a half before it came out. Such Internet-enabled PMPs, as well as netbooks, are the really important things here–providing a true Web experience on-the-go.

Internet on cell phones means equal opportunity for all, by allowing Web access for consumers of all economic levels. Internet on luxury devices like cameras, PMPs/music players, and uber-portable computers prove that even the richest consumers will be best-reached on the mobile Internet.