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The internet landscape is changing – mobiles are in the ascent, while PC/laptops are in a slow decline.  Mobile-first has become a buzzword of late but here are some clear signs that the mobile tipping point is coming.  

1. Three Quarters Now Getting Online via a MobileEach year, more and more internet users are getting online via their mobiles, with the mobile internet seeing continually strong rises since 2011. It’s now 3 in 4 online adults who access the internet via a mobile each month.

Although this still places mobiles behind PCs and laptops in terms of internet access, look over to device ownership and smartphones are on the cusp of surpassing PCs and laptops. 88% currently own a PC/laptop, compared with 87% who own a smartphone. This strong growth in smartphone ownership will have a clear impact on internet access rates.

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2. Mobile Most Important Device for Users in Emerging MarketsIn GWI’s Q4 2015 wave of research, we asked a total of 51,080 internet users which is the most important device they use to access the internet. 34% of these users say that laptops are the most important device, but smartphones follow closely behind on 32%.

However, look at the figures for 16-24s and mobiles take the lead, with almost half saying that smartphones are their most important internet device. Meanwhile, in the fast-growth regions of APAC and MENA, smartphones also come top (both on 40%). With internet penetration in fast-growth markets expanding, we can expect even more mobile-first consumers to come online in these markets.

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3. 16-24s Now Spend Over 40% of Online Time on MobileIf we look at average daily time spent online on each device, age makes a decisive impact. For 16-24s, daily time spent online on PC/laptops may be ahead, but this group now spends 44% of their daily internet time online via a mobile. And the trend here is clear, with figures fast approaching the halfway mark.

As time spent online on mobile continues to grow, not only will we increasingly see online activities migrate to mobile, but this will bring profound implications for how and when brands will communicate with consumers.

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