Mobile devices (including both smartphones and tablets) will account for 73 per cent of time spent using the internet globally in 2018, up from 70 per cent in 2017 and 65 per cent in 2016.
That's according to Zenith’s Mobile Advertising Forecasts 2017, which was published today. Mobile internet use has doubled since 2011, when it accounted for 36 per cent of all internet use. By 2019, Zenith expects it to account for 76 per cent.
In the UK, mobile currently accounts for 57 per cent of average daily internet consumption, 13 percentage points behind the global average, with a rise to 64 per cent predicted in 2018.
The markets where mobile devices have the highest shares of internet use are geographically diverse, according to Zenith. Spain is top, with an estimated 81 per cent of internet use coming from mobile devices this year, followed by Italy (78 per cent), China and the US (each at 77 per cent) and India (73 per cent).
In 2018, 66 per cent of individuals in 52 key countries will own a smartphone, said Zenith, which is up from 63 per cent in 2017 and 58 per cent in 2016. In the UK, penetration is expected to reach 69 per cent in 2018.
“For most consumers and advertisers, the mobile internet is now the normal internet,” said Jonathan Barnard, Zenith’s head of forecasting and director of global intelligence. The ownership of mobile devices is beginning to saturate in some markets, but there’s plenty of room for further growth across the rest of the world.”
Vittorio Bonori, Zenith’s global brand president, added: “Because the internet is now mobile, brands have the opportunity to use it to communicate to consumers during more of their lives – when they are shopping, socialising and travelling as well as when at their desk.
"By reaching consumers at the right occasions with tailored messages, brands can guide them through the consumer journey more effectively.”