Half of Mobile Users to be web-enabled by 2013

eMarketer AUGUST 10, 2010

Popularity of smartphones will drive adoption

According to Nielsen smartphones were used by 25% of the US mobile phone audience in Q2 2010, up from 23% the previous quarter and 16% in Q2 2009. The research firm predicts they will overtake feature phones by the end of 2011.

This increased ownership of smart devices is driving growth in mobile internet usage. The acceleration of this trend has led eMarketer to raise its forecast relative to the estimates released in November 2009. According to eMarketer projections, 85.5 million mobile users will access the web from their mobile devices in 2010, versus 83.5 million in the previous forecast.

In 2013, penetration will reach the halfway mark, and by 2014, 142.1 million users, representing 53.9% of the US mobile user population, will access the internet using mobile browsers or applications.

US Mobile Internet Users and Penetration, 2008-2014

Mobile internet usage will increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.7%, much faster than the CAGR of 2.1% expected in mobile subscribers over the same period.

In April 2010, comScore found a total of 72.8 million mobile internet users, representing an average for the three-month period prior to reporting. This falls in line with eMarketer’s estimates, which are for December of each year: comScore’s figure is an improvement over eMarketer’s 2009 estimate of 68.6 million users and well on the way to the 85.5 million predicted by the end of the year.

US Mobile Internet* Users, by Device Type, April 2009 & April 2010 (thousands and % change)

comScore’s findings also highlight the importance of smartphones in the mobile internet equation. Growth in web access from smartphones was in the triple digits between April 2009 and 2010, while access from feature phones actually dropped over the same period.

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