Thought Leadership

The World’s Shift From Desktop To Mobile

By April 13, 2021No Comments

Let’s take a peek back at history. Computers were originally invented, not primarily for entertainment purposes like today, but out of a need to solve some serious number crunching challenges.

It started as far back as 1880. The population of the USA had grown so large that it would have taken officials 7 years to tabulate the census results. This fuelled the invention of the first punch-card machines.

Fast forward to the ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer) which was launched in 1946 – invented by J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly at the University of Pennsylvania. It was the first programmable, electronic machine able to solve ‘a large class of numerical problems through reprogramming’. For those of us who watched The Imitation Game, it was described as being Turing-complete and could be used to simulate any Turing machine. In today’s money the cost of the development would have been the equivalent of USD $7 195 000. But more significantly, it occupied a space of 167 square metres!

That machine eventually evolved, and we all remember our first, clunky, grey desktop IBMs which had functionality which we couldn’t have dreamt of having at our fingertips one day. And then along came Steve Jobs and Co with Apple – the tool for The Crazy Ones. Remember the closing line? Those that are crazy enough to think that they can change the world are the ones who do.

Today we carry computers with unimaginable functionality in our pockets. The mobile vs desktop usage stats tell the whole story: the growing global preference for the device that seems to have become an extension of our arms. The trend is undeniable – and it is bound to speed up. Here’s why:

  • Millennials aged 25 to 35 spend close on 4 hours per day browsing on their mobile devices.
  • The mobile market share worldwide is 52%. Compare that to the current desktop market share which – at 44% – has fallen well and solidly into second place.
  • According to Techjury the data share of mobile users has increased by over 10% in the last year.
  • 50% of business-to-business enquiries are now received from mobile phones
  • Mobile apps have much higher engagement rates than mobile optimized websites or desktop web searches and downloads
  • Phone based Cost Per Click is 25% cheaper than desktop CPC, and have a 40% higher Click Through Rate (CTR)
  • More than half of all videos that are shared are viewed on mobile devices
    In the USA, more than 50% of consumer revenue spent online is on mobile devices
  • Social media makes up 25% of the entire digital media consumption universe
    40% of people search only on a smartphone

In 2019 the world’s internet population reached close on 4.5 billion users, of which 4 billion were browsing on mobile devices. Usage comparisons indicate that 60% of multi-device purchases switch to mobile before doing the actual transaction. (Guess that is our friend, Evelyn, showing the pair of Louboutin shoes she has been eyeing to her friends before she makes the final decision – and has to take out a second bond on her apartment).

The inevitable conclusion: the future is mobile, for now …

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