Mobile and tablet internet usage surpasses desktop for first time: StatCounter

Global internet usage on smartphones and tablets exceeded desktop usage for the first time, according to October statistics from web analytics firm StatCounter.

Internet usage on mobile devices has exceeded desktop for the first time worldwide, according to web analytics company StatCounter.

StatCounter Global Stats found that mobile and tablet devices accounted for 51.3 percent of worldwide internet usage in October, compared to 48.7 percent via desktop.

"This should be a wake-up call especially for small businesses, sole traders, and professionals to make sure that their websites are mobile friendly," said Aodhan Cullen, StatCounter CEO.

"Mobile compatibility is increasingly important not just because of growing traffic but because Google favours mobile friendly websites for its mobile search results."

Mobile overtook the desktop for Google searches last October when it was averaging 100 billion searches a month.

Google introduced a free online tool in June called Test My Site that tests how good or poor a website is for mobile devices and then provides recommendations on what to fix.

In October, the search engine giant then announced it would break out a mobile-only search index that will deliver more up-to-date results to smartphones than the ones it provides to desktop users. According to Search Engine Land, the mobile version will be Google's primary index with the change expected to happen in the upcoming months.

According to IDC, mobility is already a core requirement for most enterprise apps, with all consumer-facing apps and 75 percent of employee-facing apps expected to be built with a mobile-first mindset by 2017.

Locally, Australian midmarket firms that reported revenue growth in 2015 were also 60 percent more likely to have mobile strategy development as a key IT spending priority, according to IDC.

In 2015, Telsyte predicted that the Australian enterprise mobility market would reach AU$4.9 billion by 2019 and would be driven by a combination of mobile device hardware, management software, and value-added services.

Telsyte's latest research also found that 84 percent of enterprises have at least one system in place to allow their staff to be mobile workers, whether it's providing a secure VPN system or supporting Bring Your Own Device and Bring Your Own Apps.

Previous statistics from IAB Australia and Nielsen indicate that 12.5 million Australians aged 18 and over accessed the internet on their smartphones for both business and leisure in September 2015, while 7 million accessed the internet via a tablet.

The third Mobile Ratings Report also showed that Australians aged 18 and over spent 35 hours on average per month on smartphones, and a little under 26 hours on average per month on tablet devices in September 2015, with IAB reporting this was the first month where time spent on tablets exceeded desktops in Australia.

However, StatCounter's figures released this week show that desktop -- which came in at 55.1 percent usage -- is still the primary mode of internet usage in Australia.

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