Is mobile becoming more relevant than desktop for web?

Smart phones have emerged as the most used devices when it comes to web browsing. Desktop computers and notebooks was once the primary way people accessed web, but this decade has marked a drastic increase in the use of mobile phones. Talking about 2020, there were 4.57 billion people using the internet and 51.53 % of the total global website traffic were only generated through mobile phones. That means that desktop computer cannot be considered king for web browsing anymore.

Mobile phones as the first choice

Below are just a few reasons why mobile phones are considered as a great option for users to access the web

Mobile friendly websites and location-based optimized information

Mobile friendly websites give same user experience as desktop and web pages look attractive even in mobile phones, which was not always like that in the past. An added value of mobile phones is that they consume less data due to smaller screens. Also user location can be accurately accessed on mobile phones and website owners can not analyze their traffic, but also give relevant recommendations and display fitting content.

Upcoming 5G technology

While 5G technology is in some ares in the world still to come, in others, it already has been adopted and has significantly improved download and upload speeds.

Affordable to many users

Smart phones have become affordable to common people. Mobile phones are handy and more portable than tablets or computers so users find it easy to access the web anywhere in the world that includes e.g. countries in Africa, where computers are still quite rare on some places.

Mobile-first habit

Most users choose mobile phone first when they have the option to use either mobile or desktop to access web. The reason being, one touch is used to start mobile internet and one access any website in a browser very quickly. Although computers have increased their booting speeds significantly in the last years (e.g. booting of MacBook Pro does probably take only a few seconds), it is still no match for the speeds of mobiles.

What about tablets for accessing web?

Tablet is considered as combination of laptop and smartphones. Many software and applications work on tablets and for light weight browsing like using social media, checking mails, uploading and editing documents, tablet is better option than desktop. Tablet has a bigger screen, better battery life and also less heating problems than a smart phone – yes mobile phone really tend to overheat sometimes, especially in countries with warm climate. Tablet is also often used for reading news, novels, watching videos, accessing websites, viewing larger content like blogs and articles.

Further usage of tablet includes gaming, social networking, entertainment which covers a wide range of age groups of people. Tablet uses comparatively less mobile data. Roughly your 1GB of data can be used to browse 10,000 smaller web pages or you can download 200 songs to it from the Internet. While you are travelling, tablets can be a major source of entertainment. Just download videos, films, games etc. and there you go! This is pretty handy, because you do not need to carry a notebook with you, which will have shorter battery life than tablet in the end.

Considering the benefits of tablets like lower cost than desktops or notebooks, its light weight, portability and that also spreadsheets, presentations, and documents can be viewed properly, users who want to go beyond light weight browsing prefer tablet over the mobile phone.

Well, then one question arises – When do you need a desktop when a mobile phone and tablet can do most of the things as indicated above?

When a user has to deal with a lot of typing or perform lost of tasks on any website or application, desktop are easier to handle due to larger screens, available keyboard and mouse. Often users don’t prefer to access websites which have massive content as it’s tedious to scroll through the entire content. In desktop, users can easily edit or read content like articles, news and blogs. Tablets cannot compete when it comes to processing power. One cannot play performance heavy games or use tablet for heavy research work. Generally for administration works, programming in web, creating pages etc. desktop is king and will stay like that for some time.

So, will the trend change in the upcoming future?

It is being predicted that by 2025, 72% of internet users will access the web just by using mobile phones. Mobile phones may replace tablets in the near future, because we already can see some hints that those 2 devices may merge – Check the Samsung Fold 2 for example. But for desktop? The future still seems bright and it will still save its existence in the upcoming years. Generally it seems that mobiles and tablet web browsing seem to satisfy users, who mostly look for fun and quick consumption of information, whilst desktop is connected to work or serious information research – where it is necessary to copy links, store lots of bookmarks etc. As technology advances, new features get added to devices and mobile phone will satisfy more and more needs in the future.

[The original article was written in English. To other languages it was automatically translated by Google Translate]

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