2013 predictions: The average web page will hit 2MB, Android will pull ahead of iOS for good, and your smartphone will get infected with a virus

It wouldn’t be December without a batch of audacious predictions for the new year. Assuming we all survive past December 21st, here’s what I think 2013 will hold for site owners, mobile users, CIOs/CTOs, RUM vendors, and the browser wars.

1. The average web page is going to hit 2MB.

A year ago, I predicted that the average web page would hit 1MB in 2012, which it did in May. Today, the average page is 1280KB. In a post I wrote last month, I predicted that, at the current rate of growth, typical page size would hit 2MB in early 2014. I’m upgrading that prediction to the end of 2013. Call it a hunch. This has massive implications for site owners in terms of bandwidth, but mobile users will be hardest hit, from both a usability perspective and a throttling/data cap perspective.

2. By the end of 2013, at least half of all North Americans will own a tablet.

Currently, 29% of North Americans own some kind of tablet. With the proliferation of new inexpensive tablets, with the emergence of kids as a mostly untapped tablet market, and with Christmas just around the corner, I’m predicting that more than 50% of North Americans will own a tablet by year end.

3. Global mobile traffic will hit 25% of total internet traffic.

Right now this number is 13%, but numbers are surging in China and India.

4. 25% of online shopping will be via mobile.

With the explosive adoption of tablets, we’re going to see a major jump in mobile shopping. Mobile phones and tablets represented 24% of online shopping on Black Friday, up from 6% just two years ago. We’re going to see that Black Friday stat become the norm.

5. 2013 will be the year your smartphone gets infected with a virus.

You know it’s coming. Cue the dark lords of anti-virus software to the rescue.

6. Android will pull ahead of iOS smartphone adoption. For good.

In five years, we’re all going to look back on 2013 as the year Android pulled ahead for good on smart phones. When it comes to this kind of call, I use the Strangeloop team as the canary in the coal mine. My dev team is moving to Android en masse. I haven’t seen this type of shift since 2009 when the mass exodus from Blackberry began.

7. Mobile performance will continue to be a major problem.

Mobile sites will remain too slow. Too many people still believe that their simplified mobile site is the answer (which it’s not, because it’s often too simple), or that responsive web design is the answer (which it’s not, because RWD pages can actually be even bigger and slower than a typical page). There’s no single magic bullet for mobile performance. Companies are going to have to really apply themselves to finding solutions that work for their unique situations.

8. This will be a great year for Chrome, an okay year for Internet Explorer, and a bad year for Firefox.

Internet Explorer will halt the bleeding and stabilize, but not grow, its market share. Chrome will hit 45% of worldwide browser market share by the end of the year — almost entirely at the expense of Firefox.

9. Two of the four largest CDNs will be acquired and integrated into larger companies.

I’m not naming names, and I have no inside information. This is just my hunch that we’re going to see big changes in this market.

10. Netflix will continue its decline, while Amazon video delivery will ascend.

Amazon’s rise in video delivery to the home will become evident in 2013. Amazon can outspend almost anyone for content — and when it comes to video, content trumps all.

11. DDOS attack mitigation will dominate the enterprise.

There’s nothing CIOs/CTOs hate more than visible failure. Sixty-five percent of the top ecommerce sites will have a mitigation strategy in place by the end of 2013.

12. RUM vendors will finally start to make money.

Real user monitoring will move from the sideshow to the main stage for half of analytics vendors. We’ll even see the first example of actionable RUM, which operations can use to trigger alarms that matter. Operations will start to trust RUM. By year end, RUM will be found on 35% of ecommerce sites.

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