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32 Mobile vs Desktop Usage Stats

by Darko Jacimovic

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One of the essential facts developers need to take into account today is mobile vs desktop usage of the internet. With technology developing so rapidly and new devices being developed every day, the key to success is determining what customers strive for.

That is why market research is a very important part of the development process. Determining trends is more than essential and can boil down to added revenue if researched correctly. In this case, we are trying to determine if the customers prefer using mobile phones or if they would rather do all their work and browsing on a desktop computer.

Determining this would also require adding a customer’s personal taste. However, these would come in the category of advanced stats, but basic mobile vs desktop usage stats is what’s important for now. So let’s take a look at some of the recent trends and statistics related to this topic. 

Mobile vs Desktop Facts and Stats (Editor’s Pick)

  • 63% of all US online traffic comes from smartphones and tablets.
  • 95.1% of Facebook user accounts were accessed via mobile devices in 2017.
  • Google Play predicts that $60 billion will be spent on mobile apps in 2023.
  • 96% of Americans own a cellphone of some kind.
  • Mobile accounts for 70% of digital media time.
  • Mobile traffic will continue to grow, but desktop traffic will remain relevant.

Mobile vs desktop usage - All Stats

1. 63% of all US online traffic comes from smartphones and tablets.

According to research conducted in 2017, an enormous change in online traffic share has been established. This is particularly related to mobile consumption, with it being one of the favorite methods of use for consumers. 

With 1.9 trillion visits in 2016, traffic share has gone up to 2 trillion visits for the next year. Generally speaking, it is a significant increase which went from 57% to 63% in just one year and will most likely continue to increase further.

2. People spend more time on desktops than on mobile devices.

If we look at the mobile vs desktop statistics related to the time spent on devices, desktop computers have been leading the charge for the past three years. The aggregated time of mobile visits as opposed to desktop visits has always been on the side of desktop devices. 

However, the margin has been decreasing. It was the largest in 2016 with 59.5% for desktop usage and 40.5% for handheld devices. The latest scores point to 58% to 42% usage in favor of desktop devices.

3. Between 2012 and 2018, the total time spent on mobile devices in the US jumped from 88 to 203 minutes a day.

For a span of only six years, daily mobile usage of adults has more than doubled. These mobile device usage statistics indicate a growth of 3 hours and 23 minutes of the time spent browsing or using a phone per day for adult users. 

4. Combined mobile web traffic worldwide has increased by 36% in the last six years.

Based on the research conducted for the period between 2012 and 2018, web traffic has gone up from 16.2% to 52.2%. It is safe to say that the internet is ruling the world and web traffic comparisons given here show just how much our lives are being affected by internet usage. 

Even more so, the given statistics are only related to mobile phone usage, which will more than likely go up even further in the future

5. 95.1% of Facebook user accounts were accessed via mobile devices in 2017.

It is safe to say that users prefer accessing their social media accounts via phones over desktop computers. Facebook mobile vs desktop usage shows that more than 90% of users prefer using their mobile phones to browse or use their account. The trend is the same with other popular social media. 

Nearly 80% of users accessed Pinterest via phones in 2016, while 85% accessed Twitter through the same devices. LinkedIn is not an exception. Although it has less mobile visits compared to other popular social media, it still goes in favor of mobile phone devices with 60%

6. Desktop search is still relatively important for banking, travel, property, and the automotive industry.

When considering mobile vs desktop search, it is fairly obvious that generally speaking, mobile search is in the lead. However, if we consider different industries, we can see that some people are still much more comfortable running a search on a desktop computer. These include banking, property research, the travel industry, and cars. 

On the other hand, food and beverage, health, news and media, and sports are clearly in favor of handheld devices.

7. By 2021, mobile ecommerce is predicted to be responsible for around 67.2% of total ecommerce sales.

Currently, mobile commerce revenue in the USA is believed to stand around $693.36 billion. As for China, about 75% of all commerce is being done over phones. Mcommerce vs ecommerce statistics clearly tips the needle in favor of the former, with indications that by 2020, we might be looking at 45% of all commercial activities being done on handheld devices. 

For comparison, the total percentage of ecommerce activities done in 2016 amounted to only 20.6%.

Mobile vs desktop usage - mobile

8. Google Play predicts $60 billion will be spent on mobile apps in 2023.

With handheld devices getting all the praise in recent times, fewer people are using websites. Mobile app vs mobile website statistics is in favor of the apps because they are more accessible and easier to use. 

In 2018, a total amount of $47 billion was spent on apps in the App Store, while Google Play incurred $25 billion of revenue. If we take a look at the current rate and the number of apps being downloaded every day, analytics predict that this number will skyrocket by 120% by 2023, amounting to total revenue of $156 billion.

9. 96% of Americans own a cellphone of some kind.

Having a cellphone is essential in today’s culture. This is not surprising knowing that the number of mobile users in the US is higher than 90%. Further mobile statistics show that, out of those people, 81% are smartphone owners. This is a 35% growth if we compare it to the statistics from 2012.

Additionally, nearly three-quarters of US citizens own either a laptop or a desktop device. Half of them now have tablets by their side. Based on the given statistics, the US is obsessed with technology, which is a trend that will surely continue in the years to come.

10. Mobile vs desktop traffic is 57% in favor of smartphones and tablets.

Based on the latest announcement made by a Google spokesperson, the vast majority of search queries on the internet are mostly done on mobile devices. Around 57% of people around the world find the information that they need by using smartphones and tablets, while the rest rely on desktop computers.

11. Mobile clients account for 41.9% of opened emails in 2019.

If we take into account mobile vs desktop usage in terms of checking emails, mobile devices have an enormous advantage. In 2019, the number of emails opened on mobile devices was 41.9%, promptly followed by webmail at 39.9%. Desktop opens account for only 18.2%.

12. Younger users tend to use smartphones more than older users.

According to a study done by Twitter, users between the age of 18 and 24 are more likely to spend time on their phones than on a desktop computer. However, based on the mobile vs desktop statistics for age groups between 55 and 64, they too are leaning more and more toward smartphone usage as opposed to desktop.

13. In just three years, smartphone usage for gaming increased by 12% as opposed to PCs and laptops.

The gaming industry is also taking advantage of mobile phones as more users are choosing this method to play their favorite games. Consoles, desktops, and laptops seem to be waging a battle that they cannot win.

In the period between 2015 and 2018, mobile vs desktop usage stats gap for playing games has increased from 3% to 15% in favor of smartphones. It is fascinating that the gap has widened five times in such a short time span. 

14. Worldwide daily internet time is mainly spent on mobile devices.

Based on the studies by Mary Meeker, an expert analyst on internet trends, the majority of people who spend their time online are usually doing so on their handheld devices. Mobile vs desktop internet usage statistics reveal that out of 5.9 hours people spend on the web every day, 3.3 hours, or 60% of the time, is done on phones.

15. Mobile accounts for 70% of digital media time.

People are spending more and more time viewing digital media in general. However, most of that time is spent on phones. Desktop digital media usage has fallen to less than one-third of digital media time. 

YouTube mobile vs desktop usage goes in favor of the former, with people spending seven out of 10 minutes watching YouTube on their cellphones. This practice will most likely continue in the future, with people consuming various digital content on their phones, even favorite TV shows and movies.

Mobile vs desktop usage - Value of mobile traffic

16. Mobile traffic is more valuable than desktop traffic.

Mobile conversion rates are rising due to the fact that more customers are buying products via mobile. When comparing mobile vs desktop traffic, email conversion rose as much as 70% for emails read on mobile devices. At the same time, desktop conversion rates dropped down across the board, but only slightly.

17. 52% of companies use a template that works for all devices.

More and more companies are making their websites compatible with all devices. Nowadays, it is of the utmost importance to have a mobile-friendly site that can work equally well on any kind of device. 

When it comes to the mobile vs desktop rivalry, mobile devices are winning, and this trend will only increase in the foreseeable future. Currently, it is hard to predict exactly to witch length it might go.

18. Mobile usage grew by 9% while desktop usage dropped by 8% in two years.

Another example of mobile phones having an advantage over desktop computers is the usage of the two in the United Kingdom. During the period between 2016 and 2018, mobile usage trends have jumped from 28% to 37% in market share, as opposed to desktops that have dropped from 59% to 51% during the same period. 

At the same time, tablets have also dipped in market share, but significantly less compared to desktops, going down from 12.5% to 10.8%.

19. 25% of mobile apps are game apps, while 65% of smartphone users have apps for playing games.

A concept that helps understand mobile web usage better is the fact that a lot of people download games on their phones. Out of all apps the users download, 25% are entertainment apps. The second most downloaded category is business, which has 2.5 times fewer downloads than game apps.

20. It is projected that the number of smartphone users will reach 2.87 billion by 2020.

As far as smartphone sales numbers go, they are off the chart. In just three years, the total number of smartphone users will most likely surpass 3 billion with an additional several hundred million users by every next year. 

You can clearly see who is winning the mobile vs desktop usage war merely based on these numbers. The countries currently with the highest number of smartphone users are China, India, and the USA.

21. By the end of 2019, 51.7% of the time using social networks in the US will be done exclusively via mobile.

The future predicts that more than half of social network users in the US will be mobile-only. The number of people who access the internet through their phones exclusively is expected to establish a 10.6% growth by the end of the year, amounting to 55.1 million users. 

On the opposite end, desktop social network users are going to drop to 1.7 million, tipping the mobile users vs desktop users grossly towards the handheld ones.

22. In January 2019, a total of 3.26 billion people used social media on mobile devices.

In the past year, 297 million new users started using social media, which is more than a 10% year-on-year increase compared to 2017. Mobile social media users account for 42% of all active social media users based on the statistics for the given period. According to the mobile vs desktop statistics for 2019, only 3% are active social media desktop users. 

23. Mobile traffic will continue to grow, but desktop traffic will remain relevant.

Based on the current trends and statistics, mobile traffic will simply continue to grow. For that reason, all businesses and developers should strive to make their sites more mobile-friendly. However, this does not mean quitting and abandoning desktop sites altogether.

When we take a look at the statistics for mobile vs desktop traffic in terms of the time of the day people visit websites, mobile traffic generally peaks in the mornings (6 am – 9 am) and in the evenings (5 pm – 11 pm). However, desktop traffic is mainly accumulated in the afternoons (10 am – 5 pm) or during peak working hours. 

This means that desktop devices are still the primary tool for work.

24. Chinese users spend 2.3 times more of their time on mobile than desktop.

Mobile vs desktop usage stats in China have been increasingly going toward cellphone devices. China is a major technological market with millions of users, and as such, should be taken seriously by mobile developers. 

The usage of desktops has fallen by 3.9% year-on-year. On the other hand, users that access Tencent’s WeChat and QQ have increased by 10.3% year-on-year.

Mobile vs desktop usage - Value of desktop traffic

25. Mobile accounts for more than half of the world’s internet traffic.

If you were wondering what percentage of internet traffic is mobile, you might be amazed that it is more than half. Actually, it amounts to 52.2%, according to the most recent report which investigated this matter.

26. Mobile internet usage exceeded desktop for the first time in 2016.

Stat Counter Global Stats was able to calculate that mobile internet usage overtook desktop internet usage for the first time in 2016 and has been advancing ever since. Back then, the measured stats calculated a 51.3% advantage as opposed to 48.7% for mobile internet usage vs desktop. The numbers have been growing ever since at an exponential rate, and we can expect an even bigger gap in the future. 

27. 48% of consumers start their mobile research with a search engine.

The majority of smartphone users start their internet search using a search engine, usually the one that comes with the phone. However, it appears that not all people have the same browsing habits. According to a survey that studied mobile web browsing statistics, 33% of users decide to go directly to the site they are looking for. This is why developers are optimizing their sites for mobile phone search results.

28. An average mobile phone user in the US checks her phone about 50 times a day.

Based on the recent mobile usage statistics, the total number of people in the US who own phones pick them up about 50 times a day. What is even more amazing is the fact that this number is rising. Based on the mobile browsing stats that we have, people are becoming more dependent on their phones, and a lot of them can’t imagine a day without them.

29. The average bounce rate is higher on mobile devices, and the average time spent on a site goes in favor of desktops.

According to the research done by SimilarWeb, the average bounce rate is higher on mobile devices, with 56.39% as opposed to 47.65% for desktops. The same research about mobile vs desktop traffic in terms of average time spent on a site favors desktop devices. On average, people spend 05:19 minutes on a website using a desktop device, and 03:05 minutes using mobile devices. 

Additionally, average page visits also go in favor of desktops, with 5.19 visits compared to 3.34 visits for mobile devices.

30. About 60% of search queries around the world are now done on mobile devices.

According to Google’s statement, more than 50% of search queries worldwide are mobile. However, exactly what percentage of searches are mobile is not entirely clear as the number tends to fluctuate between 51% and 60%, depending on the country. 

As far as the US goes, 58% of the internet searches are done on some kind of a mobile device. The research has been done by Hitwise, which took into account 11 key categories and came up with these numbers.

31. Google Chrome increased its market share by 11% over the last five years.

When it comes to surfing the internet on desktop computers, Google Chrome is the unopposed leader. Considering top desktop statistics, we have come to learn that Google Chrome market share has increased from 51.72% to 70.71% in a five-year-long period between 2014 and 2019. 

The second most popular browser is Firefox with 9.76% of the market share. If the trend continues, Chrome is going to continue to hold its grip on the market even further.

32. Google Chrome unanimously dominates the market in mobile internet browsers.

Mobile web browsing statistics for 2019 show that Google Chrome is the leader when it comes to mobile phone browsing. It currently stands at 56.74%, with Apple’s Safari following suit at 21.29% of the market share. 

Other contenders like UC Browser and Samsung Internet hold almost insignificant numbers for major developers to even consider. With mobile phone internet browsing becoming more and more popular, Chrome will probably increase its dominance in the years to come.

Percentage of Mobile Users vs Desktop Users

Mobile vs desktop usage - Comparison

Ever since 2009, mobile phone usage started growing. The development of smartphones is a revolutionary point in tech history and the history of the world, which has determined the future tech trends and how they have developed. 

As a result, trends in web browsing and internet usage have greatly sided toward cellphones and have surpassed their original desktop usage, which many already see as a thing of the past. All of this has added to increased mobile devices sales, which supports the claim that we might see a future without desktop computers.

Even though desktop devices seem to be dropping off the radar, their use is still relevant. As companies and employees still use it for their regular operations, they actually help support and develop the mobile phone branch. Generally speaking, one cannot exist without the other. You need people working on desktops to create handheld devices that others will use to entertain themselves and make their lives easier.

Even with mobile vs desktop usage significantly tipping toward the former, desktops are, for now, not going anywhere.

Sources:

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