Mobile web usage in developing nations higher than in Europe, North America: report
Mobile web usage is highest in Asia and Africa despite the widespread attention given to smartphone technology in the North American and European regions.
"The reason these countries have such high mobile web usage compared to desktop web usage (for lack of a better name) is very much a result of economics. A large portion of the population won't have access to the means needed for a computer and Internet access," explains internet monitoring company Royal Pingdom in a November 23 blog post.
While consumers in the developed world are worrying about who has the latest Android or iOS smartphone, mobile phone makers such as Nokia, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Chinavision and Lemon Mobile have been busy pandering to the needs of developing nations crafting low-priced, internet-connected handsets for consumers who can't afford to purchase a laptop.
For these consumers, web-enabled mobile phones have quickly become a necessity.
Nokia's mobile devices are seeing extremely high penetration rates in developing nations with up to 90 percent of mobile web traffic coming from its Symbian OS phones.
In October 2010 mobile web browsing (accessing the internet via a mobile device such as a phone) made up a relatively small proportion of the world's total web browsing at just 3.81 percent, but that figure is set to grow exponentially.
Mobile web usage in African countries such as Chad is almost at 29 percent of all web usage in the country. Web usage in Nigeria rose to over 25 percent in October, while web usage in Sudan was around 22 percent.
Asia countries such as India, Indonesia, Cambodia, Turkmenistan and Bangladesh see mobile web usage of around 15 percent.
In Japan, a country praised for its mobile prowess and forward-thinking technology, mobile web browsing is only 2.17 percent of the country's total web traffic.
Market researcher ABI suggests that by 2015 more than 60 percent (about 3.8 billion handsets) of mobile phones worldwide will be capable of surfing the internet via a mobile web browser.
Share of web usage from mobile devices by region according to StatCounter's October 2010 Global Stats:
- Asia - 6.10%
- Africa - 5.81%
- North America - 4.71%
- Oceania/Australia - 2.88%
- Europe - 1.8%
- South America - 1.46%
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