The mobile Internet, the popularity of which is evident in the buzz generated around every new mobile phone or tablet, is close to being a mass market. An average of 69 percent of Internet users connected to the Web with a mobile device in the past 12 months. Of these, 61 percent used smartphones for accessing the Internet. Among non mobile Internet users, 46 percent expressed interested in buying a Web-enabled mobile device in the future. This as an increasing number of innovative touchscreen models with great image resolution, faster Internet access and attractive built-in social media and mobile payment apps are hitting the market every day.
The increasing use of mobile Internet is relevant across all age groups. Of the 61 percent of respondents who used smartphones for accessing the Internet, more than 70 percent were in the younger age group (between 14 and 39 years). Interestingly, approximately 45 percent of those above the age of 50 used their smartphones for Internet-related activities.. While the overall upward trend is evident across all the countries that were surveyed, the emerging markets of Brazil, South Africa and Russia showed the highest adoption of smartphones (above 70 percent on average) for Internet use. The rising popularity of smartphones in Brazil, South Africa and Russia for Internet use is in line with developments in other emerging markets such as India. These countries, with a dearth of fixed lines, have been witnessing a mobile phone revolution of hyper growth for some years now, fuelled in part, by declining costs—both of devices and subscription rates—and a growing wealthy middle class. The widespread lack of personal computers, relatively more expensive than mobile phones, meant that for many people, the mobile phone would be the first entry into the Internet world.
Mobile Internet usage is now a mass market with 69% of users having got connected to the Internet through a mobile device in the past 12 months
• Smartphones are the most popular mobile access method to the Internet with 61% of respondents using smartphones versus 37% for netbooks and 22% for tablets
• Age is a differentiating factor with 82% of those aged 14-29 accessing the Internet on a mobile device versus only 45% for people above 50