Mobile Internet Outpacing Laptops

A new report from marketing firm Ipsos Insight finds that accessing the Internet using devices like mobile phones and PDAs is becoming ever more popular, especially in parts of the world with widely-deployed 3G mobile networks. So popular, in fact, use of mobile devices to access the Internet is outpacing the use of laptops and notebook computers in some markets.

And it’s not just kids: users over 35 are getting into using Internet services over their mobile devices.

Globally, the annual study found that 28 percent of mobile phone owners have browser the Internet using a wireless device, a slight increase over 2004, with the growth in usage largely attributable to mobile phone users over the age of 35. “Accessing the Internet on a wireless handheld device is no longer a novelty for consumers in the major global economies. It’s becoming a common, everyday occurrence for many people,” sad Brian Cruikshank, an Ipsos Senior VP.

The study also found that 52 percent of all mobile phone households today have sent or received a text message, and 37 percent of sent or received email on a mobile phone. Internet browsing via mobile devices was most popular in Japan, the U.K., South Korea, and the U.S., with 40 percent, 29 percent, and 26 percent respectively (the U.S. and South Korea tied) saying they use their mobile phones to browse the Internet for news and information.

The annual study found the strongest growth of mobile Internet use was in France, the U.K., and Japan. Findings also show that even in countries like Japan and South Korea where mobile phones are already in over 90 percent of households, homes are now increasingly likely to own multiple mobile handsets, with the global average now being 2.2 mobile handsets per household.

The Ipsos study was conducted during November and December 2005 among 6,544 adults in Canada, France, Germany, Japan, South Korea, the U.K., and the U.S., as well as urban areas of Brazil, China, India, Mexico, and Russia.