Desktop vs. Mobile vs. Tablet Market Share of Worldwide Online Traffic

The major technological revolution that started a few years ago isn’t going anywhere. One need look no farther than the fast rate, at which manufacturers are making new devices and gadgets to realize just how deep in this technological revolution we’re in.

There’s no doubt about it: technological devices like the desktop computer, the tablet, and the mobile phone have made an incredible impact on everyone’s lives. The markets for these devices have been flourishing ever since, and that doesn’t surprise anyone anymore. These gadgets, as they were once perceived, have literally changed our lives. What’s more, they’re constantly being updated, which is making an impact as well.

This is what worldwide data on the use of desktop vs. mobile vs. tablet looks like as reported by Statcounter:   

As you can see, mobile is the clear leader with over 50% of all users. It has been in this position ever since March 2018 and has held it continuously until the present (more or less) with the somewhat baffling exception of November 2018, when it dropped to around 46%. In this month, desktop use took the lead with around 50% of all users. At present, it looks like they hold an equal share. Perhaps data for February this year hasn’t been summarized in full.

Tablet use lags way below the use of both desktop and mobile with around 5% of all users. This rate of use has remained unchanged since March 2018.

Below is another graph you might find useful:

Key Considerations

According to experts, we need to be wary of oversimplifying because many people spend most of their time on smartphones checking their email and using social media. While mobile use is very popular for things like messaging and gossiping, most consumers tend to use desktop (and occasionally tablet) devices for more detailed reviewing and making purchases.

This also explains why mobile conversion rates in retail are much lower and why the breakdown between retail site traffic is more or less equal between desktop and smartphone.

With desktops still seeing much use online, it’s important to ensure the desktop experience isn’t degraded when designing. To this end, one needs to use a responsive web design. This is a trend bigger businesses are picking up on. A lot of bigger companies are now using an adaptive web design where content and layout are tailored for smartphone, desktop, and tablet screen dimensions.