More and More US Internet Users Count On Mobile Devices For Online Access
Over 31 million US internet users are now online via a mobile device in 2016
Internet usage is enormous in the US, with eight in 10 people now going online daily. Because mobile devices play such a prominent role today, Internet users’ digital lifestyle has evolved from the desktop pc into a multidevice experience.
According to an article in eMarketer inc., publish in March of 2016, more and more people in the US are relying on their mobile devices for digital access. eMarketer expects that 88.3% of US internet users will go online via desktop/laptop at least monthly in 2016, a significant decrease from 97.3% in 2011. This year, nearly one in 10 US internet users (11.7%) will go online exclusively through a mobile device — what eMarketer defines as "mobile-only internet users — and that number will continue to rise through the forecast period."
Because, more than eight in 10 people in the US will use a mobile phone in 2016, annual user gains will not climb significantly throughout 2016. Growth is coming from new mobile phone users in the youngest and oldest age segments of the US population.
Smartphone users in 2016 now account for nearly four out of five mobile phone users. Even though the market penetration is great, the smartphone user base has only grown at a rate of 8.7% this year because of such high market saturation from previous years.
New market gains primarily generated by the lower-cost smartphones pouring into the market, along with new device features like larger screens. And, increased functionality like higher quality cameras and convenient task apps have also drawn the new purchasers of smartphones.
Sales of tablets in the US market is also increasing this year. More than half of the US population and almost two out of three Internet users will use a tablet in 2016. Since the first iPad was offered for sale in 2010, usage has grown dramatically. The great surge that began with the iPad in the years between 2010 and 2012 has now subsided and the gains will no longer be as gigantic as they were in those initial years.
"The US tablet audience reached its peak growth in 2012, soaring by 182.4%, but it will expand by just 4.7% this year", according to eMarketer inc. Interestingly, most of the competition to the tablet has come from smartphones and phablets, along with a lack of new tablet features being incorported into tablet design. Also, tablet manufacturers have extended the replacement cycles, allowing users to keep their tablets for a longer period of time. However, we can still expect to see continued growth of the tablet market. Tablets with new and improved features like the Microsoft Surface Pro, for example, with multiple functionality and combined with lower costs will help increase future growth.
*eMarketer defines tablet users as individuals of any age who use a tablet at least once per month—a tablet user does not need to own a tablet. Because tablets are commonly shared among members in a household, one device is likely to have multiple users.