What Percentage of Internet Traffic Is Mobile?

The percentage of global web traffic on mobile phones has surged over the past decade. As of March 2020, 52.03 percent of the overall web traffic comes through mobile phones. If we were to go back to March 2011, this figure was at a meager 4.70 percent.

Fast forward just five years later to 2016 and the percentage of web traffic on mobile multiplied more than a factor of eight to 40.60 percent.

Despite the significant growth, the quickest growth rate came from the first few years of the decade and has slowed significantly since then. The average year-over-year growth rate from 2011 to 2016 was 69.78 percent, compared to 11.28 percent from 2016 to 2020, which includes a 5 percent dip in 2019. 

Zooming in to the one year period from March 2019 to March 2020, the percentage of global web traffic on mobile phones has been on a slow but albeit steady rise. It increased from 48.98 percent to 52.03 percent, marking a 6.23 percent year-over-year increase.

Mobile vs Desktop Internet Usage

For some to win, others must lose. The rise in the percentage of web traffic on mobile has had an immense impact on desktop web traffic.

In March 2011, nearly all web traffic came through desktops (95.30 percent). The very first time the percentage of web traffic on mobile exceeded that of desktop came in November 2016, when 48.25 percent of overall internet traffic came from mobile phones, just a hint more than desktop at 46.93 percent. Today, desktop traffic makes up 45.32 percent of overall internet traffic, less than half of its 2011 traffic share.

Mobile Browsing Stats in the United States

The distribution of mobile vs desktop internet usage in the United States reflects a similar pattern, where 51.62 percent of the total web visits are currently mobile, as compared to 44.12 percent on desktop. 

Of the mobile internet browsers, Apple’s Safari is proving to be the most popular choice among all mobile internet users in the US. The latest figures show that 56.62 percent of all US mobile users use Safari to browse the internet, with Google Chrome coming in second with 36.79 percent.

These mobile browsing stats should come as no surprise, given the popularity of iPhones in the US and the pre-installation of Safari in all iPhone devices. As it stands, there are approximately 100 million iPhone users in the US.

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