Mobile internet access will eclipse wired internet access by 2015: report

In just a few short years mobile internet use will supersede wired internet use as more Americans use their mobile devices to get online.

The dominant trend towards mobile connectivity in the post-PC era is highlighted by market researcher IDC in its Worldwide New Media Market Model released September 12.

"Forget what we have taken for granted on how consumers use the Internet," said Karsten Weide, research vice president, Media and Entertainment at IDC. "Soon, more users will access the Web using mobile devices than using PCs, and it's going to make the Internet a very different place."

The mobile web is becoming increasingly important as consumers are now logging on to the web en masse via portable touchscreen gadgets that offer fast anytime, anywhere access to the internet.

This year’s technology expos (CES, Mobile World Congress, IFA) have been dominated by tablets and smartphones, many of which feature 4G connectivity (high-speed mobile internet access), a feature which is quickly becoming standard on the latest high-end devices.

From the other end of the mobile spectrum, consumers who once opted for a voice and text-only feature phone are now switching to internet-capable devices - smartphone shipments now exceed feature phone shipments in regions such as Western Europe (according to a separate study by IDC), a statistic that further emphasizes the impending rise of the mobile web.

IDC forecasts that the "impact of smartphone and, especially, media tablet adoption will be so great that the number of users accessing the Internet through PCs will first stagnate and then slowly decline. Western Europe and Japan will not be far behind the U.S. in following this trend."

According to a survey conducted by the Office for National Statistics and published in August, 71 percent of 16 to 24-year-olds in the UK used their mobile phones to connect to the internet.

IDC predicts that by 2015 the number of internet users worldwide will have grown from the 2 billion users in 2010 to 2.7 billion - a figure that means roughly 40 percent of the world’s population will be able to get online.

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