Ever since mobile devices gained access to the internet, their popularity (in comparison to desktops) when it comes to accessing the internet has been constantly increasing, but until now, their popularity never surpassed that of the traditional desktop. According to the latest statistics provided by StatCounter though, October marked the first month where access to the internet through mobile devices surpassed that of desktops worldwide.
The stats from the online site, which began in October 2009, show how quickly the way people connect to the internet has changed in such a short time. Initially, desktop held nearly 100% of the internet access market, with mobile hovering over 1%. Today though, desktop sits at just 48.7% while mobile has increased to an incredible 51.3%. These stats represent the overall worldwide usage and are largely influenced by countries such as India where very few people own desktops and mobile connections represent over 75% of internet connections. More developed countries such as the US, UK or Australia are still largely dominated by desktop connections, with mobile connections still some way behind. The US has the lowest mobile use of the three with just 42% of connections being from mobile devices, while 58% are from desktops. The UK, on the other hand, has a slightly higher use of mobile connections, with these devices representing 44.4% of all connections.
With smartphones becoming ever more powerful and many people replacing their desktops or laptops with tablets, the need for a traditional setup at home is becoming less and less necessary, something that will only cause the number of mobile connections to increase. With this being the case, it shouldn't be too long before the US, UK, and other developed markets see mobile connections overtake those of desktop on a permanent basis, something that should force many companies to better optimize their websites for these devices and, therefore, cope with the increase in traffic from smartphones and tablets. For those companies who are yet to optimize their sites at all, the new stats should be the push they need to finally embrace the mobile world and introduce a mobile-friendly site, something that should eventually lead to increases in revenue sources and customers.