Internet usage on mobile devices exceeds desktop for first time worldwide: Report


Penetration of internet has risen to new levels. With a recent jump witnessed in demand for smartphones offering support for high-speed 4G connectivity, it is evident that traditional monitor and keyboard desktop setups are gradually taking a backseat. Other than offering the obvious convenience of communicating on-the-go, mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets are now engineered with features earlier restricted to only desktops such as printing documents. Now, a latest study has found that internet usage on hand-held devices such as smartphones and tablets has exceeded desktop for the first time in October, 2016; and the phenomenon is global.

According to a research by independent web analytics company StatCounter, mobile and tablet devices accounted for 51.3 percent of internet usage worldwide in October compared to 48.7 percent by desktop. Given the recent growth in mobile devices, the internet consumption pattern has also changed by leaps and bounds. As the reach of mobile devices has increased, a lot of emphasis is now laid on making the content more mobile friendly. “This should be a wakeup call especially for small businesses, sole traders and professionals to make sure that their websites are mobile friendly. Many older websites are not,” said Aodhan Cullen, CEO, StatCounter. A lot of internet traffic is channelized through Googlewhich now favors websites or content which is mobile friendly.India-internet usageIn India, the growth is dramatic with 78.05 percent internet consumption carried out through mobile devices, followed by desktop at 21.18 percent and tablet at 0.76 percent. Compared to the US and UK where desktops continue to be the primary mode of internet usage, the internet consumption through mobile phones is limited to 42 percent and 44.4 percent respectively.

The analyst warned, “Post-Brexit, UK businesses should be aware, as they look to increase trade outside the EU, that India for example has over 75 percent internet usage through mobile devices.”

Earlier this year, Google introduced its free online tool called ‘Test My Site’ to allow businesses and publishers to test how good or poor a website is for mobile devices. The tool further offered recommendations to fix the issues. Last month, the company announced that it would break out a mobile-only search index that will deliver more up-to-date results to smartphones than the ones it provides to desktop users. ALSO READ: Reliance Jio launch boosts demand for VoLTE devices in India: Report

A lot of users these days consume information while they are either commuting or when scrolling through their social media feed. To enhance the mobile experience, Google introduced Accelerated Mobile Pages or AMP Project to help publishers turn web pages into easy-to-load mobile pages. Social networking giant Facebook too has over the years focused on how its users consume the site on mobile. As part of its ongoing efforts, it introduced Lite version of both its app and mobile website which take less time to load content and are compatible even on slower internet speeds. Facebook has over 155 million monthly active users in India, and over 90 percent access the social network on a mobile device.

India is currently the hot favorite among businesses which aim to expand their services to the South Asian country. With 220 million users, India has become the second-largest market in the world for smartphones, according to a separate data by eMarketer and thus is of huge interest to businesses and marketers who aim to explore trade options with the nation of over 1.3 billion in population. ALSO READ: Smartphone shipments in India grew 23 percent in Q3 2016: Counterpoint Research

Recently, an IDC report found that despite a global slowdown in smartphone shipments, India showed positive and steady growth. The successful adoption of mobile devices is also attributed to the recent launch of Reliance’s Jio 4G services. The disruptive high-speed internet plans along with the company’s own line of 4G VoLTE compatible but affordable smartphones has further boosted the demand for compatible smartphones.