Mobile devices will drive global Web use by 2015

It looks like sunny weather ahead for Web users and providers, according to a new market forecast.

The report, out the week of Sept. 12, from market research firm IDC, is predicting that worldwide access to the Internet will hit 40 percent by 2015, with the manner in which it is accessed shifting drastically, particularly in the United States.

In fact, in the United States, more people will access the Internet through their mobile devices, which includes both smart phone and tablet devices, than through wired connections by 2015, IDC reported.

IDC researchers said smart phones and media tablets are driving these huge increases in wireless Internet connections and predicted a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of mobile Internet users of 16.6 percent from 2010 to 2015.

The forecast, part of IDC's Worldwide New Media Market Model, also predicted that the "impact of smart-phone and, especially, media tablet adoption will be so great that the number of users accessing the Internet through PCs [in the United States] will first stagnate and then slowly decline." The report also said Western Europe and Japan would follow closely behind the United States in this trend.

"Forget what we have taken for granted on how consumers use the Internet," said IDC Research Vice President Karsten Weide in a statement released Sept. 12. "Soon, more users will access the Web using mobile devices than using PCs, and it's going to make the Internet a very different place."

IDC's Worldwide New Media Market Model tracks consumer Internet trends and user data across 40 countries. Additional details about the Worldwide New Media Market Model can be found on IDC's site.

About the Author

Dave Nagel is the executive editor for 1105 Media's educational technology online publications and electronic newsletters.

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