US techies shun the mobile internet

Mobile web sees big growth in mainstream users
Mobile web sees big growth in mainstream users

Mobile internet access continues to soar, but it's now the mass market rather than early adopters who are surfing the web via mobile devices, according to a new survey by comScore.

The first study of its cross-media panel of PC and mobile Internet users in the US, conducted last October, found that light PC internet users are 30 per cent more likely than heavy PC internet users to use their mobile devices to access online content.

In total, 42 million Americans used their mobile devices in October 2008 to access news and information content on the internet, an increase of 57 per cent from the year before.

Mobile crowds out the PC

The study found that 15 per cent of light PC internet users viewed websites on their mobile device at least once per week, compared to just 12 per cent of heavy PC Internet users.

ComScore reckons heavy PC Internet viewed an average of over 6,700 pages each month, compared to just 1,100 pages for light user. Heavy users make up around a fifth of all surfers, but accounted for nearly half overall web visits.

"The findings suggest that a significant portion of people are using mobile to supplement their at-home online media diet," said Brandon Starkoff, VP/Mobile Activation Director at media agency Starcom USA.

The study also found that mobile internet users are more likely to be male (58 per cent) and to be 18 to 44 years of age.

Mark Harris is Senior Research Director at Gartner.