In order to keep afloat in the inevitable media storm about WebRTC and telecoms over the next week, I thought I’d put out a quantitative blog post, updating some headline numbers and drilling down on how the WebRTC marketplace may evolve over the next few years. The figures come from the most recent update of my WebRTC research – subscribers got their 30 pages of new analysis about a month ago. (I know that quite a lot of people use my already in their presentations & press releases – feel free to ping me if you need updates).

  • Overall device support for WebRTC at end-2016 now predicted at 4.2bn, up from 3.9bn in previous forecasts
  • Addition of new category of devices (beyond PCs, smartphones & tablets) to account for embedded-WebRTC products such as TV dongles, in-vehicle systems, M2M etc
  • Active individual user-base of 1.6bn people, with around an average of 2 devices each, using WebRTC by end-2016. This equates to roughly 50% of the expected Internet user base at that time.
  • Over 3bn devices will support the use of WebRTC outside the browser by end-2016. This is a critical understanding, as it fundamentally alters the way the technology will be perceived



Various new services are employing WebRTC “in spirit” even if the technology is not 100% identical to the (proposed) standards. This doesn’t matter in many ways – innovations like Amazon Mayday (customer support) or Google Helpouts (expert interview platform), point to the underlying democratisation of voice and video outside the traditional “phone call” model. In many ways the strict technology enablers are irrelevant except academically – the bottom line is more forms of communication, developed more easily and cheaply by web, corporate, mobile & telco app developers.

Perhaps the most important output of the new analysis is this: overall from late-2015 onwards, the number of non-browser WebRTC-supporting devices will grow above 50% of the total across all device categories (ie including PCs). The majority will have both access mechanisms. For smartphones, browsers will not be the main way that users discover and use WebRTC.


The full post on Dean Bubley’s Blog : Thought-leading wireless industry analysis :
Updated WebRTC forecasts + new analysis of browser vs. non-browser uptake

If you would like to get access to the new forecasts, and indeed the original Disruptive Analysis WebRTC report, details about purchase are available on this page. (Note: my travel schedule may mean it takes slightly longer to get content out to customers).

I’ll also be at the December WebRTC event in Paris, so I hope to catch up with everyone there.