In this chart of the week we will take a look at how the user Internet access pattern are shifting in US and UK.
Above graphs show the origin of internet requests in the UK and US by device type from January 2013. The majority of devices used to access the Internet in both countries are desktop and laptop computers. A gradual decrease in the amount of non-mobile devices and a proportional increase in the amount of smartphones and tablets is a common trend in both the UK and US.
The rate of mobile device usage increase is somewhat slower in the US with only a 5% more smartphones and 1% more tablet devices accessing the internet in June 2014 compared to 10% more smartphones and 4% more tablets in the UK. One of the reasons according to Gizmodo.com could be the price of mobile data. A 500Mb prepaid data package appears to be 4 times more expensive in the US than in the UK.
Even though US has a smaller percentage of mobile device users, the size of the population is significantly larger with over 300 million people compared to 60 million in the UK. Even after we subtract the amount people that don't access the Internet at all, 20% of US users is a considerably greater number than the 25% of UK users. So, in pure numbers the US has a lot more people that actively use mobile devices.
Why does it matter?
According to the UK data, published by Office for National Statistics: 87% adults and 99% of 16-24 year olds had used the Internet in Q1 2014 and 72% of all adults bought goods online in 2013. We can see a similar picture int the US, where nearly 75% of US households used the Internet in 2012.
Use of mobile devices continues to increase and a mobile-friendly website version is becoming a must. Providing a good and memorable user experience will result in more returning customers as well as a decrease in the bounce rate (people who leave immediately after arriving). To learn how 51Degrees can help your website become mobile friendly check out our Products section.