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As of Q2, 2023 mobile traffic has 53.84% of the global market share. It first had a surge in early 2016, only for desktop to make a comeback in 2019 Q1.
In the near future, we expect that mobile will reach 69%+ of market share by 2028.
Did you know that, on a global scale, mobile network providers carry 300 times more data than they did in 2011?
Sure, smartphones were a thing back then, but they were still in their emerging phase and unable to handle the daily workload. Well, today, they are able to do that, and much more.
With a 45.49% mobile phone market share in Q1 in 2023 in the U.S., mobile traffic is poised to overtake desktop in the U.S. sometime in 2023 in a major way.
It should be noted that the Q3 had 52.5% mobile phone market share in the U.S.
Mobile internet traffic has turned into a true behemoth in the last few years with a rapidly growing market share. And things might get even more intense when 5G becomes more commonplace.
Ericsson reports that by 2027, 62% of all smartphone traffic will come from 5G. That’s why observing the desktop vs. mobile battle is essential – it’s the future.
In this article, we’ll explore the latest and most crucial stats about mobile devices and market share.
We won’t just elaborate on how much internet traffic is on mobile. Instead, we’ll cover a wide range of mobile trends that will help you position yourself and your brand in the long run. Predicting movements is a great advantage.
Let’s look at the current mobile web traffic state from multiple viewpoints.
Table of Contents
- Top 10 Mobile Statistics & Trends
- 10 Key Mobile Stats and Trends You Want to Know About
- 1. How is Mobile vs Desktop Web Usage Changing Overtime?
- 2. How Did COVID-19 Impact Mobile Web Traffic?
- 3. How Much Time Do People Spend on Their Smartphones Daily?
- 4. How Do Traffic and Conversion Rates Compare for Mobile vs Desktop?
- 5. How Mobile Commerce (m-commerce) was Performing in 2021?
- 6. What are the Top 10 Countries by Smartphone Users in 2023
- 7. What are the Top 10 Mobile Apps Globally in 2023?
- 8. What are the Top 10 Countries with the Fastest Mobile Internet Speed in 2023?
- 9. Which Regions use the Most Mobile Data?
- 10. What percentage of Google Searches are on mobile?
- Closing Thoughts
Top 10 Mobile Statistics & Trends
- There are 5.4 billion unique mobile users in the world. (Source: GSMA Intelligence, 2023)
- Mobile traffic accounts for 53.61% of all internet traffic, on a worldwide scale. (Source: StatCounter, 2023)
- 45.49% of all US traffic comes from mobile devices, down from 52.5% in the third quarter of 2022. (Source: StatCounter, 2023)
- In the last 12 months, the average global internet download speed has increased by 26.18%. (Source: SpeedTest, 2023)
- 52% of people report spending 5-6 hours on their phone, while 13% deem it to be 7 hours or more. (Source: DataReportal. 2023)
- Facebook’s user base is extremely mobile-heavy, with 98.5% of surveyed users saying they only access the network on their smartphone. (Source: DataReportal 2023)
- LinkedIn is another mobile-majority social network, seeing 57.39% of its traffic from mobile. (Source: SimilarWeb, 2023)
- 89.5% of YouTube’s traffic is mobile. (Source: Statista, 2023)
- In the last 6 months, 79% of smartphone users made a purchase from their device. (Source, Statista, 2023)
- While shopping in retail stores, 82% of customers look up information on their smartphones. (Source: RetailDive, 2022)
10 Key Mobile Stats and Trends You Want to Know About
- How is Mobile vs Desktop Web Usage Changing Overtime?
- How Did COVID-19 Impact Mobile Web Traffic?
- How Much Time Does an Average American Spend on Their Phone?
- How Do Traffic and Conversion Rates Compare for Mobile vs Desktop?
- How Mobile Commerce (m-commerce) was Performing in 2021?
- What are the Top 10 Countries by Smartphone Users in 2023?
- What are the Top 10 Mobile Apps Globally in 2023?
- What are the Top 10 Countries with the Fastest Mobile Internet Speed in 2023?
- Which Countries use the Most Mobile Data?
- What percentage of Google Searches are on mobile?
1. How is Mobile vs Desktop Web Usage Changing Overtime?
Thanks to the 5.4 Billion unique mobile users in the world, desktop computers and laptops are far from a must anymore. In the United States 45.49% of all web visits come from smartphones, while the average person spends about 5-6 hours on their device. 58.33% of all global traffic is mobile!
We’ve also seen the rise of so-called “mobile-heavy” websites. LinkedIn and Facebook’s traffic is 57.39% and 98.5% mobile, respectively.
Over 1.5 billion monthly YouTube visits come from just this type of traffic alone. Shopping was impacted heavily, as well. Even back in 2018, 79% of surveyed mobile users in the US have made a purchase from their smartphone in just the last year. Thanks to the global pandemic restrictions, this number has increased.
Contrary to popular belief, that doesn’t mean the death of retail – about ⅔ of holiday shoppers will use their phone in a store. But what’s one of the main drivers behind this rise in traffic? Internet speeds, of course. With over 10 countries having average speeds of 200+ Mbps, our dream of a mobile world is finally realistic.
2. How Did COVID-19 Impact Mobile Web Traffic?
In 2020, the year when the majority of the world was hit by the COVID-19 lockdowns, several trends arose. According to AppAnnie’s State of Mobile 2021 Report, mobile adoption advanced quicker.
It made strides equal to approximately two or three years of advancement in that single year, with mobile advertisement seeing a jump of 26%, totaling $240 billion. However, despite that, the usage of mobile devices, and thereby mobile traffic was receding slightly. This is due to the fact that more people were forced to stay at and work from home.
They were using their home Wi-Fi network more frequently and in the 1st quarter of 2021 mobile traffic dropped for the first time since 2016.
3. How Much Time Do People Spend on Their Smartphones Daily?
Even though working from home made people remember their PCs, the multi-purpose nature of smartphones is undeniable. Since one can do everything on an area not bigger than the average hand, it’s no wonder that we spend a lot of time on our devices. Most of it is in small chunks, as it’s estimated that most users check their device up to 63 times a day.
In the US alone, the average person spends about 5.4 hours on their phone. While it’s unclear what percentage of that time may be work-related, the sheer time suggests the growth rate is only about to increase. Some experts estimate that hybrid devices, such as foldable phones and other “phablets,” will further increase the time spent.
But what comprises the largest chunk of our screen time? Social media is the usual culprit here, with 2 hrs and 24 minutes going to various apps. Unfortunately, this can lead to addiction. 13% of surveyed millennials have said that they spend more than 12 hours a day on their phone.
4. How Do Traffic and Conversion Rates Compare for Mobile vs Desktop?
Conversion rates will always be a hot topic for both marketers and content creators. Contrary to popular belief, smartphones don’t have a positive impact on conversions. 54% of traffic is mobile, but only 20% of value in transactions.
Online shoppers still prefer to use PCs for their purchases. Some reasons for this include navigation difficulties, screen size, lack of details, and security concerns.
According to Statista, mobile conversion is quickly catching up with 1.82% mobile conversion rate in the 1nd quarter of 2023. This is up from around 2% just a year ago.
Despite the pandemic lessening its grip on the shipping industry, the US market has seen a 12% quarter-on-quarter increase, compared to Q4 2022.
Due to more shoppers being introduced to eCommerce, we expect this growth trend to continue into the future.
5. How Mobile Commerce (m-commerce) was Performing in 2021?
2020 taught us about e-commerce, but its younger brother, m-commerce (aka mobile commerce), also tagged along. The convenience of this form of purchasing fits the lifestyle of many consumers, which is why it’s one of the fastest-growing niches. In 2016, m-commerce consisted of just 52.4% of all e-commerce purchases.
In 2021, however, the number reached 72.9% Interestingly, this was just a prediction that didn’t even account for the possibility of everyone being forced to spend time at home. Therefore, we believe it’s certain that we’ll see more and more brands fine-tune their mobile presence. But don’t discount retail either, despite the smartphone supremacy.
The Buy Online Pick up In-Store (BOPIS) system captures the best of both worlds. Shoppers can shop conveniently, while still being able to inspect the product immediately. In the future, BOPIS will comprise a majority of m-commerce transactions, despite its hybrid nature.
6. What are the Top 10 Countries by Smartphone Users in 2023
Perhaps the most underrated benefit of increased mobile traffic is easier targeting. Smartphones use often manifests differently, depending on the region. The key factors are demographics and smartphone penetration (SP). An SP is the total population of a country, divided by the number of smartphone users.
The US is the undisputed leader when it comes to SP, with 82.9% smartphone penetration. Calculation: 276.1M / 332.92M = 82.9%.
China may lead the way when it comes to raw users (974.7 million), but it still lags in terms of SP (66%). India may be the second on the total users list, but the penetration rate of 35.4% makes it a shaky market to target.
Nevertheless, the popularity of lower-priced phones and the dropping data prices will open the gates for countries such as India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh to catch up. The US will remain on top for at least the next few years, especially with 5G rollouts becoming more frequent.
7. What are the Top 10 Mobile Apps Globally in 2023?
Source: Data.ai (2023)
If you aren’t using TikTok to promote your brand or establish a presence, you are missing out. It is by far the most downloaded app in the world. Using a carefully designed algorithm, it gives you a feed that fits your interests like a glove. At #2, Instagram’s visual appeal is still unparalleled, and it is followed by WhatsApp, while Facebook (now Meta) is still the dominant force in terms of total downloads. CaptCut and Telegram are next in line.
Zoom has managed to retain its status as the go-to solution for cloud meetings. The pandemic restrictions shone a light on the benefits of remote work, and Pandora’s Box remains open.
Another trend that affected this list is the prioritization of privacy. The average smartphone user is far more conscious about where his or her data ends up than ever before. Telegram, providing a more secure version of WhatsApp and Messenger, earned its place on the list.
8. What are the Top 10 Countries with the Fastest Mobile Internet Speed in 2023?
Source: Speedtest (2023)
As of Q1 2023, the global median mobile internet speed is 42.07 Mbps for downloads and 10.23 Mbps for uploads.
This is a 36.7% increase compared to the Q4 2022. While the world as a whole might be experiencing improvements network-wise, there are still some countries that outclass the rest.
United Arab Emirates is currently the global leader, with average mobile download speeds of 205.77 Mbps and the Qatar fell to the #2 position. Comparatively, the US median mobile speed, which should be significantly higher, is just 77.43 Mbps. Norway, South Korea are not even close but are still above the global average. China’s placement is somewhat surprising, given the number of geographical obstacles and the sheer size of the country.
9. Which Regions use the Most Mobile Data?
While it’s undeniable that high internet speed is a factor that allows for higher mobile traffic rates, it’s still only potential. To see if there is any correlation between median speeds and data usage, we took a look at the Ericsson 2022 Mobility Report.
Source: Ericsson Mobility Report (2022)
What immediately caught our attention was China’s use of 20 exabytes (EB) of mobile data per month this year. If you aren’t in the know – an exabyte is 1,000 petabytes (PB), and one petabyte is 1,000,000 GB.
So 20 exabytes is 20 trillion megabytes. Right behind China and all of North-East Asia is the Indian subcontinent, with 12 EB/month. North America and Europe, despite their early digitalization efforts, lag behind in terms of population size. Therefore, they use “only” 4.9 and 3.5 EB/month, respectively.
10. What percentage of Google Searches are on mobile?
Source: Statista, 2021
Google has always been at the forefront of pushing towards mobile. In 2013, for instance, only 27% of all traffic came from mobile devices.
In Q1, 2023, Google saw 63% of all search traffic from smartphones.
This dominance is expected to continue due to two factors – high-spec phones becoming more accessible and tablets and phones merging.
Therefore, it’s safe to assume it’s going to take some pretty futuristic developments for PCs and laptops to make a comeback.
The answer to the question of how much internet traffic is mobile will continue to be bigger and bigger number. There’s no denying the importance of smartphones in society, but there are still ways to go in improving the overall experience.
But make no mistake – computers are still important. The workspace is bigger and, generally, desktop devices are modular and parts have a much longer life expectancy than the average phone.
Still, mobile-friendly websites are a must. Cross-platform browsing is unavoidable, and your brand shouldn’t be left in the dust.