Consumers aren't the only ones who struggle to keep up with the latest smartphone or tablet release, web-based TV trends, and operating system updates. Many major organisations can't keep track of all the devices and services consumers are using to access their services, according to software solutions firm Netbiscuits.
"The increasing number of devices hitting the market and the unrelenting fragmentation of various systems and profiles means it is harder than ever for brands to build consistent web experiences designed to meet the growing expectations of consumers across all devices," Netbiscuits said.
Most notably, connected TV access has exploded, with impressions from set top boxes and TVs up by 138 per cent. Consumers aren't ditching their smartphones and tablets for connected TVs, though; they're using them together. Meanwhile, web-connected cameras are for the first time appearing on Netbiscuits's list of devices being used to access mobile Internet content.
The tablet phenomenon, in fact, shows little sign of slowing, with month-on-month growth reaching double digits in January. Apple's iPad was the most popular tablet with 33.9 per cent market share, followed by Samsung's Android-based tablets at 24.2 per cent.
"The fragmentation of the mobile marketplace extends far beyond smartphone and tablet screen sizes, and reveals a staggering amount of difference in context, capabilities and device specifications – all of which need considering when developing a robust mobile strategy," Netbiscuits said.
With the mobile web overall, Android was on top, earning 41 per cent of the market share in January, barely beating rival Apple's iOS, which clocked a close 37 per cent. The Android fragmentation issue, however, can spell trouble for brands trying to build consistent web experiences, Netbiscuits said.
"This evidence creates a serious challenge for brands, as more devices come in numerous different technologies, sizes and configurations," Netbiscuits CEO Michael Neidhoefer said in a statement. "Without adopting a fully future-proofed multi-screen multi-channel approach, companies risk falling behind and ultimately wasting money and losing customers."
The same dangers lie in not incorporating 4G and NFC into mobile devices, the company said. The proportion of traffic from LTE-capable smartphones accessing the web increased more than three times from July 2012 to January 2013, and hits from NFC-capable devices increased by 146 per cent.
"Many enterprises are just not preparing fast enough to develop for consumer expectations," Neidhoefer said. "But the ones that do will have a significant competitive advantage driving brand loyalty and monetisation of users."
For more specifics, check out Netbiscuits' full Web Trends Report infographic below.