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Smartphones lead the charge in the rise of mobile internet

How do you view websites these days? While desktop browsers are still the most popular way of accessing the web for most of the world, mobile internet use is rapidly gaining in popularity.

According to independent website analytics company StatCounter, the use of mobile devices to access the internet has increased by 67 per cent worldwide over the past 12 months, from 17.1 per cent to 28.5 per cent.

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Mobile internet usage in the US now stands at 24.4 per cent, showing an increase of 73 per cent compared to last year, while UK mobile internet usage is up to 23.2 per cent, an increase of 69 per cent.

Three years ago, the desktop was the main platform for accessing the web across the world, but that has changed dramatically. "Mobile usage has already overtaken desktop in several countries including India, South Africa and Saudi Arabia," says Aodhan Cullen, CEO of StatCounter. "All indications are that this trend is set to continue, which creates new challenges and opportunities for businesses globally".

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Interestingly, tablet devices aren’t driving this trend as much as you might think. They account for just 6.8 per cent of internet usage, compared to 4.8 per cent 12 months ago. Cullen says "The slower growth of tablets may be due to the trend towards larger screen smartphones. It will be interesting to see whether Apple’s new larger iPhone 6 Plus becomes a tablet killer".

StatCounter announced the findings to mark the launch of the company’s new web analytics apps (opens in new tab) for iOS and Android.