How Much Internet Traffic Is On Mobile?


10 Key Mobile Stats and Trends You Want to Know About 

  • How is Mobile vs Desktop Web Usage Changing Overtime? 
  • How Did COVID-19 Impact Mobile Web Traffic?
  • How Much Time Does an Average American Spend on Their Phone?
  • How Do Traffic and Conversion Rates Compare for Mobile vs Desktop?
  • How Mobile Commerce (m-commerce) was Performing in 2021?
  • What are the Top 10 Countries by Smartphone Users in 2021?
  • What are the Top 10 Mobile Apps Globally in 2021?
  • What are the Top 10 Countries with the Fastest Mobile Internet Speed in 2021?
  • Which Countries use the Most Mobile Data?
  • What percentage of Google Searches are on mobile?
  • 1. How is Mobile vs Desktop Web Usage Changing Overtime?

    Thanks to the 5.27 billion unique mobile users in the world, desktop computers and laptops are far from a must anymore. In the United States 46% of all web visits come from smartphones, while the average person spends about 5-6 hours on their device

    54.8% of all global traffic is mobile! We’ve also seen the rise of so-called “mobile-heavy” websites. LinkedIn and Facebook’s traffic is 57% and 81.8% mobile, respectively. 840 million monthly YouTube visits come from just this type of traffic alone.

    Shopping was impacted heavily, as well. Even back in 2018, 79% of surveyed mobile users in the US have made a purchase from their smartphone in just the last year. Thanks to the global pandemic restrictions this number has increased. 

    Contrary to popular belief, that doesn’t mean the death of retail – about ⅔ of holiday shoppers will use their phone in a store. 

    But what’s one of the main drivers behind this rise in traffic? Internet speeds, of course. With over 10 countries having average speeds of 200+ Mbps, our dream of a mobile world is finally realistic.

    2. How Did COVID-19 Impact Mobile Web Traffic?

    In 2020, the year when the majority of the world was hit by the COVID-19 lockdowns, several trends arose. According to AppAnnie’s State of Mobile 2021 Report, mobile adoption advanced quicker.

    It made strides equal to approximately two or three years of advancement in that single year, with mobile advertisement seeing a jump of 26%, totaling $240 billion.

    However, despite that, the usage of mobile devices, and thereby mobile traffic was receding slightly. This is due to the fact that more people were forced to stay at and work from home. They were using their home Wi-Fi network more frequently and in the 1st quarter of 2021 mobile traffic dropped for the first time since 2016.

    3. How Much Time Do People Spend on Their Smartphones Daily? 

    Even though working from home made people remember their PCs, the multi-purpose nature of smartphones is undeniable.

    Since one can do everything on an area not bigger than the average hand, it’s no wonder that we spend a lot of time on our devices. Most of it is in small chunks, as it’s estimated that most users check their device up to 63 times a day.

    In the US alone, the average person spends about 5.4 hours on their phone. While it’s unclear what percentage of that time may be work-related, the sheer time suggests the growth rate is only about to increase. 

    Some experts estimate that hybrid devices, such as foldable phones and other “phablets,” will further increase the time spent. 

    But what comprises the largest chunk of our screen time? Social media is the usual culprit here, with 2 hrs and 24 minutes going to various apps. Unfortunately, this can lead to addiction. 13% of surveyed millennials have said that they spend more than 12 hours a day on their phone. 

    4. How Do Traffic and Conversion Rates Compare for Mobile vs Desktop?

    Conversion rates will always be a hot topic for both marketers and content creators. Contrary to popular belief, smartphones don’t have a positive impact on conversions. 54% of traffic is mobile, but only 20% of value in transactions. 

    Online shoppers still prefer to use PCs for their purchases. Some reasons for this include navigation difficulties, screen size, lack of details, and security concerns. 

    According to Statista, mobile conversion is quickly catching up with 3.5% mobile conversion rate in the 2nd quarter of 2021. This is up from around 2% just a year ago. 

    Despite the pandemic lessening its grip on the shipping industry, the US market has seen a 5% quarter-on-quarter increase, compared to Q1 2021. Due to more shoppers being introduced to eCommerce, we expect this growth trend to continue into the future. 

    5. How Mobile Commerce (m-commerce) was Performing in 2021?

    2020 taught us about e-commerce, but its younger brother, m-commerce (aka mobile commerce), also tagged along. The convenience of this form of purchasing fits the lifestyle of many consumers, which is why it’s one of the fastest-growing niches. In 2016, m-commerce consisted of just 52.4% of all e-commerce purchases. In 2021, however, the number reached 72.9%

    Interestingly, this was just a prediction that didn’t even account for the possibility of everyone being forced to spend time at home. Therefore, we believe it’s certain that we’ll see more and more brands fine-tune their mobile presence. 

    But don’t discount retail either, despite the smartphone supremacy. The Buy Online Pick up In-Store (BOPIS) system captures the best of both worlds. Shoppers can shop conveniently, while still being able to inspect the product immediately. In the future, BOPIS will comprise a majority of m-commerce transactions, despite its hybrid nature. 

    6. What are the Top 10 Countries by Smartphone Users in 2021

    Perhaps the most underrated benefit of increased mobile traffic is easier targeting. Smartphones use often manifests differently, depending on the region. The key factors are demographics and smartphone penetration (SP). An SP is the total population of a country, divided by the number of smartphone users. 

    The US is the undisputed leader when it comes to SP, with 82.2% smartphone penetration.
    Calculation: 273.76M / 332.92M = 82.2%

    China may lead the way when it comes to raw users (918.4 million), but it still lags in terms of SP (63.8%). India may be the second on the total users list, but the penetration rate of 31.8% makes it a shaky market to target. 

    Nevertheless, the popularity of lower-priced phones and the dropping data prices will open the gates for countries such as India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh to catch up.

    The US will remain on top for at least the next few years, especially with 5G rollouts becoming more frequent. 

    7. What are the Top 10 Mobile Apps Globally in 2021?

    Source: Hootsuite (2021)

    If you aren’t using TikTok to promote your brand or establish a presence, you are missing out.  It is by far the most downloaded app in the world. Using a carefully designed algorithm, it gives you a feed that fits your interests like a glove.

    At #2, Instagram’s visual appeal is still unparalleled, while Facebook (now Meta) is still the dominant force in terms of total downloads. WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are next in line. 

    Zoom has managed to retain its status as the go-to solution for cloud meetings. The pandemic restrictions shone a light on the benefits of remote work, and Pandora’s Box remains open. 

    Another trend that affected this list is the prioritization of privacy. The average smartphone user is far more conscious about where his or her data ends up than ever before.

    Telegram, providing a more secure version of WhatsApp and Messenger, earned its place on the list. 

    8. What are the Top 10 Countries with the Fastest Mobile Internet Speed in 2021?

    How Much Internet Traffic is on Mobile?

    Source: Speedtest (2021)

    As of late 2021, the global median mobile internet speed is 29.06 Mbps for downloads and 8.53 Mbps for uploads. This is a 32.2% increase compared to the beginning of 2021. While the world as a whole might be experiencing improvements network-wise, there are still some countries that outclass the rest.

    The United Arab Emirates is currently the global leader, with average mobile download speeds of 136.42 Mbps. Comparatively, the US median mobile speed, which should be significantly higher, is just 53.31 Mbps.

    Norway, South Korea, and Qatar are not even close but are still above the global average. China’s placement is somewhat surprising, given the number of geographical obstacles and the sheer size of the country. 

    9. Which Regions use the Most Mobile Data?

    While it’s undeniable that high internet speed is a factor that allows for higher mobile traffic rates, it’s still only potential. To see if there is any correlation between median speeds and data usage, we took a look at the Ericsson 2021 Mobility Report.

    How Much Internet Traffic is on Mobile?

    Source: Ericsson Mobility Report (2021)

    What immediately caught our attention was China’s use of 20 exabytes (EB) of mobile data per month this year. 

    If you aren’t in the know – an exabyte is 1,000 petabytes (PB), and one petabyte is 1,000,000 GB. So 20 exabytes is 20 trillion megabytes.

    Right behind China and all of North-East Asia is the Indian subcontinent, with 12 EB/month. North America and Europe, despite their early digitalization efforts, lag behind in terms of population size. Therefore, they use “only” 4.9 and 3.5 EB/month, respectively. 

    10. What percentage of Google Searches are on mobile?

    Google Search Traffic From Mobile

    Google has always been at the forefront of pushing towards mobile. In 2013, for instance, only 27% of all traffic came from mobile devices.


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