By 2015, More Americans Will Surf the Web on Smartphones than PC

The number of people accessing the Internet through PCs in the US will shrink from 240m consumers in 2012 to 225m in 2016, according to research from the International Data Corporation (IDC). At the same time, the number of mobile users will increase, from 174m to 265m.

The keen-eye among you will notice that means that, at some point during the next four years, mobile web usage will overtake desktop – according to IDC, that point will come during 2015.

The switch will drive huge growth in mobile advertising, increasing almost fivefold, from $6bn in 2011 to $28.8bn in 2016.

“There has been much talk about how the future of the Internet will be mobile first and PC second. In the United States, that future is now,” said Karsten Weide, program vice president, media & entertainment, at IDC. “The Great PC Exodus on the Internet is happening because the PC was never truly a consumer product,” added Weide. “Many consumers use them because there was no better alternative. Now, with the huge and growing installed base of more user-friendly tablets and smartphones, there are.”

While the US is leading the trend away from PC-based internet usage, IDC says, Western Europe and Japan are only about two years behind.