US Leads the Global Mobile Learning Market #mlearning

In August 2010, Ambient Insight released a new report called “The US Market for Mobile Products and Learning: 2009-2014 Forecast and Analysis” with the subheading ‘US Takes the Lead in the Global Mobile Learning Market: Consumers and Healthcare Buyers Drive the Market.’ It is a US-centric report and there are some seriously good stats in it, so I’ve gathered together my favorites and quoted/paraphrased them below.

Introductory Points:

  • The US market for Mobile Learning products and services reached $632.2 million in 2009. The demand is growing by a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.3% and revenues will reach $14 billion by 2014.
  • US was a late adopter of mobile learning compared with Japan and South Korea (this was also brought up in Tomi Ahonen’s keynote speech at #mLearnCon. Click here to see his slidedeck)
  • In 2009 the US passed Japan to become the top Mobile Learning buying country in the world.

Biggest adopters of mobile learning technology:

  1. US
  2. Japan
  3. South Korea
  4. UK

Popular US & Japanese Trends

  • Consumers top the buyers list
  • Mobile brain trainer games are popular and the top selling edugame category
  • Device-embedded learning products for young children very common (This is when the primary purpose of a hand-held computing device is to enhance learning, access educational content and assess and support performance. Very common in the consumer and PreK-6 academic segments.)

The current US mobile learning market is being driven by:

  1. Consumers
  2. Healthcare buyers

And here’s a thoroughly interesting fact – since the recession began healthcare has added more than 730,000 jobs! The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) say healthcare has added an average of 19,7000 jobs per month over last 2yrs.

Primary inhibitors in the buying segments are:

  • Rapidly-evolving devices
  • Competing mobile operating systems
  • Incompatible development platforms
  • Non-standard mobile Web browsers

Primary catalysts that are accelerating adoption of mobile learning across buying segments

General market conditions:

  • Roll out of 4G networks in the US and incredible rate of innovation in device tech


  • Increase in VC and Private investment flowing from suppliers
  • Custom content service suppliers landing new deals with educational publishers
  • New devices coming to the market that are designed specifically for educational purposes
  • Demand for new types of Location-based learning using new mobile augmented reality technology

A few facts:

  • Mobile app stores – as of July 2010 these are growing at 1-2 per month
  • 18% of Audible‘s 50,000 audio books are tagged as ‘Educational’.
  • In the US the ratio of feature phones to smartphones is still 4 to 1, but it’s changing fast in all developed regions
  • In developing regions it is higher, more like 8 or 9 to 1 and not evolving so quickly


  • As of early 2010, 65-70% of all mobile device Web traffic is going to social networking sites

Most recent mobile learning innovations are around:

  • Location-based learning enabled by mobile augmented reality – GPS chips, RFID chips, and 2D and 3D bar codes are often used in this type of learning, particularly in clinical healthcare environments, first responder situations, museums, consumer education and int he tourist industry.

You can read the report’s 10 page Executive Summary or purchase the full report on their website.

For the downlow on the 2009 Ambient report “The US Market for Self-paced eLearning Products and Services: 2009-2014 Forecast and Analysis.” check out my post US eLearning Market Booming.

Thanks for reading…