Tablet internet usage less than 5 percent, behind mobile and desktop, new data suggests

Tablet internet usage less than 5 percent, behind mobile and desktop, new data suggests

Summary: New data suggests tablet usage may be significantly lower than first thought, reaching just a tiny fraction of the overall desktop and mobile market.

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(Image: CNET)

Latest figures from analytics firm StatCounter shows desktop and mobile are still ruling the roost in global internet usage.

Tablet internet usage peaked at just 4.82 percent in July, but dipped slightly to 4.78 percent in November, eclipsed by global smartphone and desktop internet share of 19.1 percent and 76.1 percent respectively.

Although November's desktop share — including notebooks — is decreasing month-on-month by close to 10 percent from a year ago, smartphone usage has been rapidly rising by more than 50 percent year-over-year.

According to the company, Apple's iPad is the "clear leader" in tablet internet usage with 74.5 percent of total tablet internet usage, compared to Samsung with 10.85 percent, up from 8 percent in November last year.

"The perception is that tablets are proliferating and replacing traditional PC and laptop machines so we developed our research platform to isolate tablet usage stats," said StatCounter's Aodhan Cullen in prepared remarks. "In reality we found that tablet internet usage globally at less than 5 percent is still relatively small compared to desktop and mobile."

One of the interesting snippets from the report is that U.K. tablet share is stronger than that of the U.S.', standing at 9.6 percent compared to its American cousins at just shy of 7 percent. 

Topics: Tablets, Data Management

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43 comments
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  • Which means

    By the measures this site uses... You know, where you show that Android traffic is paltry next to iOS...

    basically there either is no revolution in Tablet force or, many devices like Android tablets aren't identifying themselves as Tablets.

    I set my Android Tablets to the Desktop User Agent and my Surface RT has a full IE so I'm not sure how that would work.
    slickjim
    • Good point...

      ..the fact that iOS is so much higher than Android raised an eyebrow with me as well. I suspect, same as you, that the numbers may be a bit skewed by tablet browsers set to identify themselves as desktop browsers.
      daftkey
      • Sales show otherwise, this article is nonsense

        Look at sales of these items and you see the trend. That's a hard fact.

        Whatever these guys did, unless they publish their methodology so it can be vetted out only seems like data manipulation.

        Any one can come up with statistics to show what they wish. Publish the methodology, until then this report seems like nonsense as sales of these items show a different situation no where close to the conclusions shown here
        Uralbas
        • Your post is nonsense...

          Sales figures don't directly translate to online usage. Sales of PCs may have slowed down, but their usage is still reflected in the online figures, no matter how much you want to disagree with the simple facts.

          People might be buying tablets, but their usage in homes is limited by the existence of regular desktops or laptops, which offer a much richer experience for traversing the web. I have a smartphone and a tablet at home, but I also have 2 laptops and a desktop with a 24 inch monitor, and I hardly ever use the tablet (or smartphone) for any online activities, not when the laptops and desktop are much easier to use and, like I said before, provide a much better experience in usage.

          Those PCs that people have had at home for years, are not collecting dust, and they're not being replaced in usage by tablets, and the article/report above is an indication of that.
          adornoe
    • Something is hinkey ....

      Using four households that I frequent regularly, the majority of internet access is via tablet and that tablet connects via wifi. This is followed by phones then pc's.

      Now work, pc's are the internet connector. Followed by phones, then tablets.

      Depending on pov, I the results can differ and be misleading.
      rhonin
      • Numbers are always misleading ...

        and can be made to reflect what you want them to. It all depends on your viewpoint and what you're seeking. ;)
        bbennett40
      • Nothng "hinkey" in the numbers....

        Sales figures don't directly translate to online usage. Sales of PCs may have slowed down, but their usage is still reflected in the online figures, no matter how much you want to disagree with the simple facts.

        People might be buying tablets, but their usage in homes is limited by the existence of regular desktops or laptops, which offer a much richer experience for traversing the web. I have a smartphone and a tablet at home, but I also have 2 laptops and a desktop with a 24 inch monitor, and I hardly ever use the tablet (or smartphone) for any online activities, not when the laptops and desktop are much easier to use and, like I said before, provide a much better experience in usage.

        Those PCs that people have had at home for years, are not collecting dust, and they're not being replaced in usage by tablets, and the article/report above is an indication of that.
        adornoe
    • Others factors could lead to these figures

      It could be that Android users don't surf the web as much as iOS users?
      William.Farrel
      • I along with over 100k other users at least

        Use an Android tablet in one County alone USA, in a single city. Even if we're an outlier in the statistics which we know we aren't sure to multiple factors i am not allowed to discuss here. These numbers alone would contradict the conclusion shown here and that's not the entire Android population of the sample.
        Uralbas
    • SlickJim is right

      I used to work on Android Roms in a few community projects and the one thing I noticed was just how many of them used Safari with a default UserAgent to identify themselves as iPads/iOS/iPhones. It just made getting mobile view pages much easier.

      Come to think of it, I can't recall one white box android tablet that didn't do this.
      Emacho
    • And Windows?

      How are they differentiating between Windows desktops/laptops and Windows tablets? How are they differentiating between when I access the Internet with my tablet in tablet mode and when it is docked at my desk and I am using an external monitor?

      I'm guessing Windows "tablet" usage is getting lumped in with desktop usage, because IE, Firefox, Chrome and co. don't identify themselves differently if you are on a tablet or when you are on a desktop.
      wright_is
  • This means Loverock is right from the begining about Tablets

    so long the lovers of Loverock who blindly flag his posts and comments. :D
    Ram U
    • What happend to the juggernaut that

      Matt Baxter Reynolds always chants "Post-PC", which supposedly to be killing the PCs?
      Ram U
      • RE: What happend to the juggernaut that

        It shows how some of the "journalists" here are a little out of touch. There's definitely a shift in technology and tech usage, but it's not post PC. PC's have just changed form factor. Much in the same way the desktop isn't dead, the usage just went back to the people who really utilize them, enthusiasts and professionals.
        Those who hunt Trolls
    • LOL Thanks!

      We'll see what they say now.
      Loverock.Davidson
  • This article needs more clarity

    ..are they measuring tablets with their own mobile connections or tablets that are tethering to a wi-fi connection. The low number would not surprise me given the cost charged by providers of adding a tablet to existing data plan.
    alsw
    • Browser ID

      It won't make any difference to the website you are visiting, whether you are on Wi-Fi, LTE or tethered over your smartphone, the browser on the device is what determines how they "recognise" what device you are using.

      As was said above, a lot of mobile browsers lie and on Windows, the browsers don't make any distinction about whether you are using a tablet or a desktop.
      wright_is
  • So, the PC isn't as dead as EVERYBODY thought?

    But... but ... but ZDNet spends half of its time touting the "post-PC" era in which we live; what are they going to report about if it isn't true?

    According to ZDNet, the last PC should be rolling off the assembly line in just a few minutes... so, how is this possible? Could it be? Might it be... that the desktop isn't dead, after all?

    Phew! Maybe we aren't all going to throw our powerful desktops in the trash in favor of Atom processors and 7" screens. Maybe we won't have to squint our way into the next decade or learn to type 300 page reports on our iPhones.
    ribzilla
    • No

      What ZDNet has posted about (correctly I might add) is that PC sales are in decline. It isn't a steep decline, but in year over year numbers, fewer PCs are sold now than before.
      Mac_PC_FenceSitter