NEW YORK (Real Money) -- You know what was lost in the shuffle of all of the reports last night? How about spending? Specifically, how much are consumers worldwide spending on their devices, particularly when it comes to their expensive cell phones? How about: How much are advertisers spending online, and what results are they are getting? Those were the twin takeaways from Apple (AAPL) and Facebook (FB), and I think they are still just beginning to materialize.
We talk a lot about how there are regions of the global economy that are waxing and waning, but given the secular growth in consumer spend and advertising spend online, this remains the fastest-growing sector in the world. You just don't get the kind of growth that Apple and Facebook are getting without spending by the Chinese consumer, the Russian consumer, the Brazilian consumer, the Indonesian consumer, the European consumer and the U.S. consumer.
The implications of this then flow right back to the advertisers -- who recognize that there is such a wholesale shift in habits of consumers, and where they spend their time, that they have to follow the eyeballs away from every other form of media right to the computer. Plus, the sheer numbers of credit cards on file makes it so that the cell phone truly is going to be the fulcrum of all consumer activity. Facebook dismissed the payments issue as too nascent, but Apple highlighted it because it has 800 million credit cards.