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Mobile Apps Overtake PCs in Internet Usage in the US

Could you do without your mobile device? Could you quit scrolling through your Facebook newsfeed, posting photos on Instagram, messaging friends via Snapchat, playing mobile games, and watching Youtube? Most likely, you couldn’t.

We are too dependent on mobile apps, where we spend most of our online time. We perform many online activities that were previously conducted via a laptop or a computer: from ordering takeaway food to playing games to chatting with friends and colleagues.  

Let’s face it. How often do you respond to emails from a computer when you have a smartphone within your reach? Actually, 81% of people prefer using their phones to regularly check their emails. More and more users around the globe are going online via mobile devices. No matter whether they need to do shopping, make a post on Instagram or perform other online tasks. 

Mobile & desktop Internet traffic

The ways users access the web change along with technological advancements. The improvement of iOS and Android devices, the launch of online streaming services, the development of 4G — all these events contribute to increasing mobile traffic. No wonder that mobile devices have already outstripped PCs in terms of internet usage.

Last year, mobile traffic reached its all-time high. The distribution of internet consumption in the USA shows that 58% of users go online via mobile devices, and 42% belong to desktop internet usage. The same tendency is observed worldwide where mobile devices account for 52% of internet traffic, while PCs together with laptops account for 48%. The most impressive thing here is a whopping speed at which mobile usage was growing from 2009 to 2018. It showed a 215% increase.  

Numerous reports reveal that the trend will persist in the future as the number of mobile device owners grows annually. Today, 81% of Americans own smartphones. While globally there are 4 billion unique mobile users — this is nearly three-fourths of the world’s population.

The PC web traffic is gradually decreasing and the balance with mobile internet usage will unlikely be recovered. It’s even predicted that 3.7 billion people will access the web solely from their mobile phones by 2025. Taking into account the fast pace of the mobile market development, the prediction seems convincing. 

Mobile traffic: where it comes from

Mobile devices allow us to do many things on the go — playing games, checking the stock market changes, watching Youtube videos, and so on. All these activities are easily accessible and affordable too. With this in mind, the chances are that you are mostly using apps and not web browsers for these online operations.

Actually, the apps account for over 90% of mobile internet time of the average US consumer. Custom-designed native apps are very responsive and user-friendly. And here’s the proof. According to Techcrunch, the individual smartphone owner uses about 30 apps each month.  

The number of app downloads in 2018 reached 200 billion. Google Play and App Store are the dominant marketplaces, while the most popular categories of apps there are social networking, games and entertainment, shopping and lifestyle. Let’s describe them in more detail.

Facebook is the most popular social media app, followed by WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram. They are so engaging that 50% of app usage time is spent messaging, sharing photos, or writing posts.

When it comes to mobile gaming, it is hitting new records. App Annie reports that 11.2 billion game apps have been downloaded in 2019. This growth is fueled by people who regularly engage in gaming as a way to kill time. Suppose, you have an hour to spend before going to the gym, why not check a new game app that is so much talked about?

The diversity of options for mobile usage has resulted in the increasing daily amount of time we spend using handheld devices. We can now book a table in restaurants, shop online, order food — all from our smartphones.

Do you want a pizza to be delivered directly to your home? Rather than actually calling or going to a pizza place, you will more likely make an order via an app, won’t you? 

On a final note

We use our smartphones while walking along the street, at work, at home — everywhere. In fact, about half of Americans will check their smartphones before getting out of bed!  

We heavily rely on our mobile devices. All our contacts, photos, credit card data, emails, maps, and numerous other details are stored in smartphones.

All things considered, it is safe to assume that the future is saying goodbye to PCs and laptops. Even though mobile apps usage is at an all-time high, it is expected to show an upward trend in the years ahead. The studies reveal that user engagement is four times higher in apps than in mobile web browsers. So, the online future is largely about mobile apps.

Written By

Acquiring a wealth of experience in writing articles on trends and prospects for the development of the game industry in the world I I've found myself as a Freelance Journalist. I am writing now about blockchain and cryptocurrencies trends, sometimes covering importance of bitcoin for various other industries.

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