Mobile Web User Base Exploding Nearly 40% In 2010

solar prominence
Thanks to gsfc for the picture.

It's remarkable that so many people are going online using their mobile phones - over 74 million in the USA as of last May, in fact [1]. That's a big increase from last December, when it was “only” 64 million [2].

In other words, the number of Americans looking at websites on mobile phones went up nearly 16% in five months! Extrapolate that to 12 months, and it means the mobile web using population is growing nearly 40% per year - at least 38%, in fact [3].

What does this mean for businesses and organizations that operate online?

Mobile To Exceed Desktop

Mobile web use is growing faster than almost anyone realizes. At the current rate, we expect 91 million US consumers to be browsing the mobile web by December 31st, 2010 [4].

This is consistent with other signs of phenomenal growth in mobile web use. The consensus is that by 2015, the number of mobile internet users will exceed the number of desktop users, according to this Morgan Stanley study for example. Ultimately, the mobile web will actually exceed the traditional, desktop-and-laptop internet in day to day consumer use.

Start Thinking About Mobile

What can businesses and organizations do? Start thinking about mobile now. We sometimes hear from people who are planning to wait until, say, 25% of their website traffic is on mobile devices before taking action. That's like waiting until one quarter of your backyard is on fire before grabbing the hose!

The current rapid growth of mobile presents excellent opportunities for smart enterprises. There are many ways to capitalize on this trend:

Free Mobile Consultation

For assistance with your mobile strategy, to request a quote or just get your questions answered, contact us today.


[1] Here's where that number comes from. According to a a recent comScore study, over 234 million Americans used a mobile phone in May 2010. What percentage of those people looked at a website on their handheld? According to the same report, it's 31.9% for the 3-month period ending May. Based on growth trends (see slide 8 of this Morgan Stanley report for example), the usage in May is certainly higher than it was in April or March, so the actual percentage for May must be over 32%. But just to be completely safe let's assume 31.9%. That means conservatively, 74.6 MILLION Americans looked at a website on their mobile phone in May 2010.
[2] Similarly, a previous comScore study reports that 27.5% of mobile phone users browsed the web, or at least 64.3 million consumers.
[3] The mobile web-browsing population grew from 64.3 million to 74.6 million in a five month period, ending May 2010. That's a rise of just under 16% in five months, which is a 38.4% annual increase trend. (This is conservatively assuming linear growth. If you believe the mobile web is growing exponentially, like some signs indicate, it actually approaches 43%.)
[4] Starting with 74 million people in May 2010, and growing at 38.4% per year, a simple calculation predicts 91 million 7 months later.