In January 2012, 8.49 percent of Website hits/pageviews come from a handheld mobile device, according to StatCounter, using stats aggregated from the 3 million sites that use its free Web analytics tool. This time last year it was 4.3 percent. Growth in mobile Web penetration is strongest in Asia and Africa, where PC penetration is lower than in North America or Europe.
The worldwide leader for mobile pageviews by a considerable margin is Nokia’s Symbian operating system, with 31.89 percent, largely due to its dominance in the vast Asian market. (Aside: in 2011 Nokia took the surprising decision to drop Symbian in favor of Microsoft’s mobile operating system). iOS/Apple currently leads in Europe and in North America.
For mobile search, Google dominates in all markets.
What this means for your Website:
• This doesn’t mean that 8.49 percent of the visitors to your site are mobile – which is more than enough to justify a mobile or mobile-optimized Web site – mobile visitors could actually be considerably higher. StatCounter measures pageviews, rather than unique users (a measure that StatCounter says is harder to measure accurately). So if the average mobile visitor surfs less than the average PC visitor – which is a fair assumption based on the smaller screen size, inferior connectivity, expense of browsing, lack of mobile friendly sites etc – then the percentage of mobile users will be higher.
• For the same reason, you shouldn’t assume that most visitors to US or European sites have an iOS or Android-based phone. Higher pageviews for these handsets probably reflects the fact that iPhone and Android users browse more than users of other handsets, aided by the larger screen, superior browsing experience, ability to surf un-mobile friendly sites and the unlimited data contracts that typically accompany these smartphones.
The following is a snapshot of StatCounter’s mobile research. There’s a lot more, with excellent interactive graphs, here.
Proportion of global Web pageviews from mobile devices, by region, in Jan 2011 and Jan 2012
Mobile pageviews in Jan 2012
Mobile pageviews in Jan 2011
Top mobile operating system for pageviews, by region, in Jan 2012
Source: StatCounter (February 2012)
• If you like stats, you’ll love The big compendium of global mobile stats.
P.S. (14-02-12) Thanks to Camerjam for including this post in the latest Carnival of the Mobilists, a weekly roundup of the best in mobile and wireless blogs.
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