Adobe Digital Index have today released a report at Mobile World Congress outlining the changing tastes of users across the European, Middle Eastern and African (EMEA) region and how they consume the Internet. The report has identified several changes in how we are behaving now compared with a few years ago. Adobe's report highlights that the share of browser traffic to mobile devices continue to grow quickly, but within the "mobile device" category, we are on average moving to browsing the web on smaller devices. This might seem to fly in the face of the gradual increase in smartphone screens until we consider how the traditional tablet market has changed things: overall, customers are migrating from tablets to large screen smartphones, also known as "phablets" – and whilst there is no official definition, it is to include devices such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 or Google Nexus 6P. Adobe believes that consumers are switching from a smartphone and tablet combination to a single, larger-screen smartphone for their online use.
In the detail, at the end of 2015 Adobe's data shows that all seventeen EMEA countries showed mobile website visit growth of at least 22% and fourteen of these had managed growth of at least 30%. These figures are impressive but the Asia Pacific and Americas regions show stronger adoption of mobile use. The star of the region is Saudi Arabia, where at the start of 2015 mobile website hits accounted for 49% of traffic. However, by the end of 2015, this had increased to 62% – but mobile visits by tablets (also included in the mobile device data) had fallen by 25%. Consumers' use of smartphones and phablets to access the Internet is increasing. Adobe believes that this reflects a relatively wealthy country and a rise in large screen smartphones, which are considered to be a better device for accessing the Internet. There is also a "mobile first" mindset across the developing areas of the region, where traditional infrastructure is typically being built some time after the cellular networks have been installed. Adobe also noted that those countries showing relatively lower mobile visit proportions at the start of 2015 are making steps to catch up, citing the Czech Republic and Slovakia, which had relative growth figures of 43.5% and 40% respectively during the year. These figures still pale compared with China, as the country reported a 50% increase in mobile browsing use during 2015.
Adobe's Tamara Gaffner said this about the report: "There was a time when tablet browsing surpassed smartphone browsing, and that trajectory was expected to continue. Since then, however, browsing growth by these devices has decreased significantly, and we think this is mainly because smartphone screens are getting bigger. Now, instead of buying both a smartphone and a tablet, people are opting for 'phablets' and relying on just this one deviceâ€”with a larger screenâ€”for all of their browsing." Adobe went on to explain that the 2015 data should encourage organizations in the region to make mobile a priority and that they must take notice of changing consumer habits.