December 5, 2012

Is mobile web about to make desktop internet extinct?

Written By Martin Sandhu

Last week we blogged about how smartphones are changing peoples shopping habits, so is mobile internet about to wipe out desktop?

It seems desktop internet is already fading, certainly for personal use. When was the last time you used a PC or laptop for something other than work? At the moment, desktop internet is still used more than mobile, probably due to the increasing amount of time we all spend working, but experts forecast that will have changed by 2015.

There are a number of indicators that suggest this might just become the case. Mobile internet is becoming more and more popular and easy to access from anywhere…even the London Underground. Almost half of the world’s population now has access to 3G mobile networks and speeds are improving, 4G being the next step. Monthly global mobile data traffic has doubled within the last year, which is no surprise as more smartphones and tablets are being shipped than desktop and notebook PCs. Perhaps more surprising is that in countries like Egypt, India or South Africa, a high number of people only surf the net via mobile web. And one in four Americans rarely or never uses a computer to access the web.

London Underground Internet

Internet on the go on the London Underground

Mobile search has grown 500% in the last two years

  • Mobile web traffic stands at 7.96% in the US, much less than in places like Africa and Asia
  • 67% of tablet owners purchased their device to access the internet
  • 20% of tablet owners use it to shop at least once a week
  • It’s expected that by 2015 desktop sales will make up just 18% of the market


Of course if these predictions are correct businesses will have no choice but to become mobile savvy. Web users want to be able to easily browse websites and find what they want, regardless of their screen size. This is particularly important when it comes to ecommerce sites.