Mobile devices are growing in popularity in the UK, with 67.6% of non-PC web browsing coming from mobiles, 24.7% from tablets and 7.7% by other devices such as games consoles and ereaders, according to research from comScore.
The research found that the devices are used by people in the mornings around breakfast time and then later in the evening, after they have used their PC during the day. The UK is in the vanguard of adoption of non-PC devices such as mobiles, tablets and games consoles for browsing the web, along with the US, and ranks second only to Singapore in the use of the new devices for browsing the web.
The comScore MobiLens study showed that the audience for mobile social networking in the EU5 region grew 44% in the last year with 55.1 million mobile users in the EU5 accessing social networking sites or blogs via their mobile devices during September 2011.
Although tablet browsing is still only a tiny slice of overall browsing, together with smartphones they are a fast growing segment of the web browsing market, the research found.
The comScore research also found patterns of usage were different throughout the day depending on the device being used: during weekdays, tablet traffic had a morning peak at about 8am before falling off and then rising again from 4pm onward until it hit a daily peak at 10pm – suggesting that people were using them at home, possibly while watching TV.
For smartphones, there was a similar 8am peak and a smaller fall, which then also rose to a 10pm peak, though without such a large fall during the day – suggestive of people using them as a device they carry with them and use everywhere.
The study, carried out in August and September, gathers data from site access by devices, as well as other information gathered by the company.
In the UK and US, 6.8% of web browsing comes from non-PC sources. Singapore, which leads the world, has 7.2% of web browsing coming from non-PC devices.
Overall, UK figures show that about 4% of overall web browsing comes via smartphones and 1.6% from tablets.
‘While tablets have thus far only penetrated a small percentage of the US population, the potential for this device to break into the mainstream is significant, as more manufacturers offer tablets at varying price points,’ comScore notes.
‘Currently, half or more of tablet users report having engaged in activities such as consuming news, viewing entertainment, social networking, and shopping on their devices at least once in the previous month. With more publishers optimising their properties for tablet presentation and developers creating apps specific to tablets, it is likely that tablet owners' engagement with their devices will only continue to grow.’