Mobile phone internet usage has finally overtaken desktop

Man and woman in an office using Microsoft Continuum on a Windows Phone and monitor

It was only a matter of time and it’s finally happened; mobile internet usage worldwide has finally surpassed the traditional desktop/PC. The results come via a report from StatCounter, originally reported on via TechChrunch, that states that 51.2 of internet usage in October 2016 was performed via mobile devices compared to just 48.7% from desktop.

StatCounter CEO, Aodhan Cullen, said of the milestone, “This should be a wake up call especially for small businesses, sole traders and professionals to make sure that their websites are mobile friendly. Many older websites are not. Mobile compatibility is increasingly important not just because of growing traffic but because Google favours mobile friendly websites for its mobile search results.”

While overall, mobile devices were used the most to access the internet, the results varied by region. In the U.K. for example, desktop still reigned supreme at 55.6% and in the U.S., desktop use was higher at 58%. Ireland’s desktop usage was 57.6% and Australia was slightly lower at 55.1%. The results were dramatically inverted in Asian countries such as China (54.63% mobile), Japan (76.02% mobile), Hong Kong (65.87% mobile), and Taiwan (59.91% mobile) which have heavily embraced mobile technology in the last decade.

StatCounter Internet Usage Worldwide

StatCounter Internet Usage Worldwide

The results of this report were not based on data transferred online but by website page views (15 billion page views per month to over 2.5 million websites according to StatCounter) so the numbers shouldn’t have been affected by factors such as increases in mobile operating system updates and larger apps. It’s also worth mentioning that the mobile stats mentioned here include the stats for mobile tablet devices as well however those numbers were negligible with tablet usage barely moving past 5% in most regions. Despite this, it’s clear that internet usage is well and truly evolving into a mobile-focused experience worldwide and it’s unlikely that there will be a reversal of this trend over the long term.

Are you surprised by these results? Did you predict the rise of mobile years ago? Share your thoughts with the community in the comments below.

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