Mobile internet use in the USA will increase by 25% this year according to the latest report from research firm eMarketer*. The study estimates that 97.3 million people in the States log on to the internet from their mobile device on a monthly basis.
The report speculates that by 2015, more than three in five mobile users and almost half the total US population will be using the mobile internet. These findings are strengthened by figures released earlier this month which highlight the rising popularity of smartphones and tablets in the USA.
The report included mobile users of all age groups who access the internet from a mobile browser or installed application at least once per month.
Most of the increase in mobile web usage will result from greater smartphone penetration of the US mobile market. By the end of 2011 thirty eight per cent of mobile users and 28.8% of the total population will own and use a smartphone, such as the Apple iPhone 4, Motorola Defy and Blackberry Torch.
The number of smartphone users is estimated to increase by nearly fifty per cent during 2011 and continue growing at a constant double-digit rate up until 2015, when nearly 150 million US consumers will have such a device.
The report states that mobile internet usage is still most prevalent among younger adults, with over forty three million US consumers aged eighteen to thirty four accessing the mobile web during 2011. This represents 44.4% of the total number of consumers who use a smartphone or tablet to surf the web.
Older adults are also beginning to opt for smartphones and tablets as their chosen means of accessing the internet. Significantly, the report states that twenty one and a half million 45 to 64 year olds and over three and a half million pensioners will switch on to the mobile internet. According to the report this is not a passing trend and numbers will more than double by 2015.
This latest research adds to the growing opinion that smartphones and tablets, such as the Apple iPad, will dominate consumer media habits over the coming decade. The rapidly expanding market presents a growing challenge to marketers who must formulate effective strategies to engage with the population through mobile devices.
*[“Two in Five Mobile Owners use Internet on the Go”, August 2011, eMarketer]