Most consumers access internet through mobile devices, study reveals

9 Oct 2012

Most (69pc) of internet users are going online via mobile devices, with mobile apps fuelling this increase, a study of consumers in Europe, Latin America, and South Africa conducted by Accenture suggests.

Mobile Web Watch 2012 also reveals consumers are using multiple devices to connect to the internet, including smartphones (61pc), netbooks (37pc), and tablets (22pc).

The front-runners in the adoption of mobile devices to access the internet are emerging economies, such as Brazil, Russia, and South Africa. Smartphones lead the pack here, given their affordability.

Mobile internet is also on the rise in developed European economies. In Germany, adoption of mobile internet access via smartphones has tripled since 2010 (from 17 to 51pc).

In Switzerland, 67pc of respondents use web-enabled mobile phones to go online, compared to 27pc in 2010.

In Austria, the percentage of mobile internet users has doubled in two years (from 31 to 62pc).

When it comes to apps, 71pc of mobile internet users have downloaded apps or programmes to their mobile devices.

Information apps, such as train schedules, the weather, or news are the most popular, according to 72pc of survey respondents, followed by entertainment apps (70pc).

“The growth in use of mobile devices to access the internet, in conjunction with a willingness to pay for mobile services such as cloud or premium services, is opening up a host of opportunities for market players in the communications, media and technology industries,” said Prof Dr Nikolaus Mohr, a managing director in Accenture’s Communications, Media & Technology operating group. 

“Companies would do well to leverage the efficiencies of this mass market. We believe that this can be achieved through innovation and, more importantly, through collaboration among all the players in the value chain of the communications, media and technology industries.”

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic