Making Science

Smartphone online usage is now double that of desktop

Tyrone Stewart

Person phone laptopSmartphones have become twice as popular as desktop computers for going online amongst UK adults, as smartphone usage surpasses desktops at every hour of the day.

According to Verto Analytics, which tracks the devices that nearly 5,000 UK adults use to go online, smartphones account for 57 per cent of people who go online. Meanwhile, traditional PCs account for 27 per cent of people online and tablets just 16 per cent.

“Mobile’s dominance at every hour of the day is a change from recent years when desktop PCs tended to be the most popular device for going online during the middle hours of the day and in the middle part of the evening,” said Hannu Verkasalo, Verto Analytics CEO.

Smartphones were found to be most dominant between 8am and 11am when they account for 63 per cent of people online, which is three times as many people as are on PC. PCs have the largest share of the audience between 1am and 3am at 38 per cent, but the highest share during normal waking hours is 29 per cent between 6pm and 11pm. Tablets experience their largest online audience between 10pm and midnight, accounting for 19 per cent.

Verto’s data also revealed that the most popular time of day for people to go online is between 5pm and 10pm, while actual usage is heaviest between 7pm and 8pm.

“Businesses of any kind looking to appeal to consumers need to think of mobiles as mini computers instead of mere phones because people increasingly conduct more of their lives through them,” Verkasalo continued. “Daily behaviour is either rapidly shifting away from PCs or going straight to mobile, highlighted by services designed almost entirely for mobiles such as Uber and Snapchat.

“Furthermore, this study is about people over 18 but our research shows that mobile is already more dominant among teens and children – the customers of the future. Businesses who don’t adapt their offerings to reflect how people actually behave will certainly struggle.”