Mobile devices are poised to supplant PCs as users’ default gateways to the Internet, according to the latest data from IDC’s Worldwide New Media Market Model. The trend is most pronounced in the U.S., where IDC forecasts the number of people accessing the Internet via PCs will drop from 240 million in 2012 to 225 million in 2016.
IDC expects this trend to occur despite its forecast for the number of mobile users in the U.S. to grow from 174 million to 265 million over the same period. Western Europe and Japan are about two years behind trend rates in the U.S., according to IDC.
Come 2015, there will be more U.S. users accessing the Internet via mobile devices than via PCs for the first time, IDC says. “In the consumer world, mobile Internet usage is already beginning to displace PC usage, and the United States is leading this trend,” said Karsten Weide, program vice president, Media & Entertainment at IDC. “There has been much talk about how the future of the Internet will be mobile first and PC second. In the United States, that future is now.”
Additional findings included in the latest IDC New Media Market Model include:
- Online PC activities will also be impacted as consumers take their usage mobile. IDC expects that the share of users accessing social networks such as Facebook on their PCs will decline from 66% in 2012 to 52% in 2016
- Worldwide mobile advertising will almost quintuple from $6 billion in 2011 to $28.8 billion in 2016
- Worldwide business-to-consumer (B2C) m-commerce spending will grow sixfold between 2011 and 2016, reaching $223 billion at the end of the forecast period
“The Great PC Exodus on the Internet is happening because the PC was never truly a consumer product,” added Weide. “Many consumers use them because there was no better alternative. Now, with the huge and growing installed base of more user-friendly tablets and smartphones, there are.”