You may be reading this post on a desktop or laptop computer right now but if you decide to read it again in a year, chances are good you’ll be scrolling through on a smartphone or tablet. That is if you’re not already reading this on your phone.
Around the globe mobile, devices are poised to overtake traditional computers – not only in sales but also in terms of how we use them. Convenience is only one factor. When you consider both the decreasing prices and the ever-increasing options in the mobile market – like the new Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10 or the now huge variety of Android-equipped phones – it’s not difficult to see why mobile usage is catching up to traditional computer usage.
The Numbers Don’t Lie
If sales of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets keep going the way they’re going, their total number will exceed the number of desktop and laptop computers worldwide in 2014. To put things in perspective consider that there are over a billion Internet-capable phones sold every year. Mobile search volume has grown by 500% over the past two years and mobile traffic is increasing by 3.5% per month.
We are also getting very close to the point at which sales of mobile devices will entirely outpace sales of desktops and laptops. In fact, Gartner Research predicts that could happen as soon as 2015. This isn’t to say we’re ditching our laptops in favor of phones for every application, but we’re buying (and using) new mobile devices more often.
We Want to Search (and Buy) Everywhere
But what may be most astonishing is that 77% of mobile searches are conducted by people with easy access to a PC. We are choosing mobile over desktops and laptops and loving what we can do. According to statistics compiled by iAcquire and SurveyMonkey, a jaw-dropping 70% of mobile searches lead to action on websites within the hour. And in a survey of 1,100 adults conducted by Sterling Research and SmithGeiger, two-thirds of smartphone users said being able to access a mobile-friendly site is important to them and that they’re more likely to buy from a site that’s optimized for mobile. Consumers are not only accessing the Internet from phones and tablets but also coming to expect that they’ll be able to find and purchase what they need anywhere, anytime.
Apps are Another Factor
The time we spend watching videos and interacting socially on desktops and laptops has apparently reached a plateau whereas time spent on the same activities on mobile devices has been growing steadily thanks to the incredible selection of apps available. We’re quickly becoming used to initiating media time with one touch versus having to navigate to a website or load a program. Now nearly 20% of the time we spend with media is spent with a phone or tablet in hand instead of at a computer. That’s probably because apps make multitasking easier – we can check Facebook while we’re standing in line or browse blogs while watching TV.
Younger Users are Driving the Change
Forty-five percent of users between 18 and 29 use mobile search daily. Nearly three-quarters of moms report using phones and tablets to research products or shop – with some of those moms doing the majority of their shopping on their mobile devices. And children in the US are growing up in a world where it’s entirely normal to play games, watch movies, do homework, read email and stay connected with family and friends on smartphones. As those kids turn into the next generation of adults it’s going to become increasingly common to see people doing not just some but the majority of their computing with phones and tablets.
What’s plain is that businesses better be ready. This is undoubtedly going to be a big year for mobile – maybe even the year where there’s a true sea change that tips the scales forevermore in mobile’s favor.
Author Bio: Jessica is a freelance journalist who loves to cover technology news and the ways that technology makes life easier. She also blogs at FreshlyTechy.com. Check her out on Twitter @TechyJessy.