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Report: Mobile Devices To Surpass PCs in Web Access by 2015

By 2015 more end users will access the Internet through a mobile device than a PC, according to a new report from the International Data Corporation (IDC).

In the cross-sector research report, "Worldwide New Media Market Model 1H-2012 Highlights: Internet Becomes Ever More Mobile, Ever Less PC-Based," IDC predicts that users accessing the Web from PCs will shrink from 240 million today to 225 million in 2016. Over the same four-year period, the organization predicts mobile access to rise from 174 million to 265 million. The United States is at the front of the migration to mobile devices for Internet access, with Western Europe and Japan about two years behind, according to the report.

Karsten Weide, program vice president, Media & Entertainment at IDC, said in a prepared statement that the trend is happening because PCs were "never truly" products for end users.

"Many consumers use them because there was no better alternative," Weide said. "Now, with the huge and growing installed base of more user-friendly tablets and smartphones, there are."

Other key findings of the report include:

  • A nearly five-fold projected increase in mobile advertising from $6 billion last year to $28.8 billion in 2016;
  • A 14 percent drop in the share of users accessing social media via PC, from 66 percent this, to 52 percent in 2016; and
  • Business-to-consumer mobile commerce will grow to $223 billion by 2016, approximately six times as large as it was in 2011.

For end users "mobile Internet usage is already beginning to displace PC usage," Weide said. "There has been much talk about how the future of the Internet will be mobile first and PC second. In the United States, that future is now."

More information about the report is available at

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at [email protected].

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