FAA Ruling Unlocks 14.46 Billion Minutes Of Mobile Device Time Per Year

Big news today about the FAA lifting the ban on the use of handheld electronic devices during take-off and landing. As I was hearing the reports on this on the radio, and remember the tireless crusade of Nick Bilton (and the recent Amazon-commissioned research), it dawned on me just how much time this ruling “unlocks” for content providers, gaming companies, and advertisers. Just like tweeting on the pot (#tweetfromtheseat) has increased time online (and in apps), how much time approximately could this ruling unlock?

  • Source: Research & Innovative Technology Administration (Bureau of Transportation Statistics) [link]
  • For this analysis, I’ll use projected figures for 2013.
  • Number of Passengers, per year: 643M trips or “Px”
  • Assume: 15 minutes of time at take-off & landing = 15 minutes per “event”
  • Assume: 75% of USA passengers have a smartphone or e-reader/tablet, but also factor in devices must be in “airplane” mode, so can only access information downloaded to a device or client.
  • Calculation: (643M Px * 75% devices) * 2 (takeoff + landing) * 15 minutes/event = 14.46 billion minutes per year, or 241 million hours per year. That’s a lot of mobile device time!

Haystack is written by Semil Shah, and is published under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license. Copyright © 2018 Semil Shah.

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