For Most Global Mobile Internet Users, Phones Are The Primary Device For Surfing the Web

February 21, 2014

This article is included in these additional categories:

Digital | Global & Regional | Mobile Phone | Paid Search

InMobi-Mobile-Web-Users-Primary-Method-Internet-Access-Feb20146 in 10 mobile internet users from 14 key markets around the world say they typically go online to surf the web mostly (37%) or exclusively (23%) from their mobile phone, says InMobi [download page] in a new survey conducted by Decision Fuel and On Device Research. That figure is highest among respondents in developing markets such as Indonesia (81%) and India (74%), while in the US, about half say they access the internet primarily via mobile. While developing market respondents are generally more likely than respondents from more mature markets to access the internet primarily from their mobile phone, the Chinese were actually on the bottom of the list, with a relatively smaller 44% doing so.

(It’s important to remember that this measures the preferences of mobile users who access the web, not all mobile users.)

In other survey results, respondents claim to have used about 7 applications during the 30 days prior to the survey, with that figure highest in France (7.9) and lowest in Korea (4.6). (The US was closer to the top, with an average of 7.4 apps used.)

Mobile web users seem to be drawn to their devices by their convenience, most commonly citing benefits such as ease of use and the devices always being there. The report also notes that mobile is “an important companion, particularly for the in between times,” meaning that most respondents use them while waiting for something (83%), lying in bed (81%) and commuting (57%). Previous research has come to a similar conclusion.

Almost 9 in 10 respondents claim to have noticed mobile advertising, most commonly in an app (48%) or on a search engine (40%). Overall, 33% are more comfortable with mobile web and mobile app ads (not SMS) than they are with other forms of advertising such as TV or online, while 19% are less comfortable. In the US, though, those figures are flipped, with 23% less comfortable and 20% more comfortable.

The report touts some big trends, such as the following:

  • Respondents spend more media time using mobile than watching TV;
  • For mobile web users, mobile is the preferred medium for communication, sourcing information, and entertainment;
  • Fewer than 1 in 5 unintentionally click on a mobile ad at least 10% of the time;
  • Mobile has surpassed TV and online in terms of purchase decision impact;
  • Mobile ads drive purchase intent across an array of factors for (generally) a majority of respondents; and

But there is a big caveat to all those results. They – frustratingly – exclude figures from the US and the UK, two of the biggest and most important mobile markets. (Skeptics alert: it also happens that developing markets have rapidly adopted mobile technology, according to Pew. It’s really not a surprise that mobile web access is much more prevalent than laptop access in countries like Kenya and Nigeria, for example.)

So take those figures in the bullet points as what they are: a collection of results from mostly developing countries (where PC access may be less available) with some traditional markets such as France and Germany thrown in for good measure. One wonders how the overall results would change with the inclusion of the US and UK. For reference, all of the figures noted in this article – aside from the bullets above – do include US and UK respondents.

About the Data: The research was conducted from June 2013 through January 2014 among more than 14,000 respondents from: Australia; China; France; Germany; India; Indonesia; Kenya; Korea; New Zealand; Nigeria; Malaysia; South Africa; the UK; and the US.

45th Parallel Design Ad

Explore More Charts.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This