Worldwide mobile internet use surpasses desktop for the first time ever

It’s the moment we’ve been waiting for.

All us mobile-first proponents have been sat patiently rubbing our hands and saying “you’ll see, just you wait and see!” to anyone within hearing distance – but now we have the proof. Mobile internet use is now more popular than desktop the whole world over.

To be honest, it was an easy prediction to make. Earlier in the year Google stated that mobile searches had already surpassed desktop in 10 countries including the US and Japan. And mobile ad spend has been dominate over desktop since March. So the following research shouldn’t be too much of a surprise.

StatCounter Global Stats has found that mobile and tablet devices accounted for 51.3% of internet usage worldwide in October compared to 48.7% by desktop.

internet_usage_2009_2016_ww

Although don’t get to excited, as there is a huge difference from country to country, with the US and UK still lagging behind other territories.

In the UK, desktop users account 55.6% of the online population, compared to 44.4% on mobile device. In the US the gap is even more pronounced (58% desktop vs 42% mobile) – however looking at the graphs below, it may not be long before the balance is tipped.

UK:

uk

USA:

usa stats

Despite desktop still clinging on in western countries, it’s the rest of the world that has seen mobile truly dominate. India for example has over 75% internet usage through its mobile devices. In Japan it’s over 76%, and in China mobile accounts over 54% of internet use.

As the research reminds us, it’s a stark warning to post-Brexit Britain that businesses looking to trade outside of the EU will need to ensure their own mobile presence is fully optimised. And if that wasn’t enough, Google of course considers mobile-friendliness as a very important ranking factor.

If you need help optimising your website, we have a thorough mobile friendly checklist written by Rebecca Sentence that will help.

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