The arrival of smartphones and tablets has initiated a rapid change in the Internet usage habits of consumers, with mobile devices replacing personal computers as the primary gateway to the web, International Data Corporation (IDC) says in a new report.
The US leads Western Europe and Japan by about two years, according to the market intelligence heavyweight. IDC predicts there will be 225 million Americans accessing the Internet via PCs in 2016 compared to 240 million in 2012. Meanwhile, mobile device users will increase in number from 174 million to 265 million. Come 2015, the number of US consumers going online via mobile devices will for the first time exceed that of people using PCs for that purpose.
According to Karsten Weide, Media & Entertainment program vice-president at IDC, this is not really a surprising development. The PC did not start out as a truly consumer-oriented product and it came to be in widespread use simply for lack of a better alternative. However, the emergence of smartphones and tablets has given consumers devices designed with their needs in minds and the rapid pace of adoption offers clear proof of that, Weide stated.
IDC's Worldwide New Media Market Model report notes that the growing use of mobile devices will also affect online computer activities. According to the publication, 52% of Internet users will be engaging in social networking activities on their PCs in 2016 as opposed to 66% this year. The advent of mobile devices will also result in a massive increase in mobile advertising spend, which will shoot up to USD 28.8 billion from USD 6 billion over the same period. IDC forecasts USD 223 billion in 2016 B2C mobile commerce spending, which amounts to a sixfold increase over five years.
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