In the quest to be the first to reach customers with the latest technology, some marketers are downplaying the importance of mobile devices or even predicting their demise and are moving on to other technologies (e.g., voice-activated technology, AR, VR, MR, etc.)
In some cases, they are using what Google is doing to justify adjusting their priorities. However, Google itself takes mobile friendliness into account in its ranking algorithm.
Furthermore, as the statistics that follow highlight, mobile devices are still extremely important.
This is not to say that the other technologies aren’t important.
The point is that it is way too early to abandon mobile devices.
In fact, there are still a lot of improvements that many businesses can make to enhance the user experience on mobile devices. This is generally what people are talking about when they mention mobile first design.
Some Statistics to Consider
According to the Pew Research Center, at the beginning of 2018 nearly all U.S. adults owned or used a cellphone.
However, the more interesting statistic is that 77% of U.S. adults owned or used a smartphone in 2018. This compares to 73% of U.S. adults who owned or used a desktop/laptop computer.
It is also interesting to point out that this gap widens among U.S. adults ages 18 to 49. When examined among this age group, 99% used or owned a cellphone and 91% used or owned a smartphone, while only 77% used or owned a desktop/laptop computer.
Although it varies by source of the data, it is clear that when we examine time spent on each type of device, people spend more time on their mobile devices than they do on a desktop/laptop computer.
In fact, according to the Q1 2018 Nielsen Total Audience Report, only live television takes up more of the average U.S. adult’s day than apps/web on a smartphone.
When looking at website traffic, Statista found that about 40 percent of website traffic in the U.S. originated from a mobile device. Moreover, nearly half of all website traffic worldwide is coming from mobile devices.
These stats all reinforce the fact that mobile devices are still very relevant today.
Keep an Eye on the Horizon
The numbers just cited mostly compare mobile devices to laptop/desktop computers.
Some people would argue that both of these technologies will be replaced in the near future.
However, as of yet, no solid competitor to the mobile device has emerged.
We also need to remember that many of the new technologies can be accessed using a mobile device.
In the near future, we will hear a lot about these new technologies. In fact, I plan to write about them on this blog.
These other technologies should be researched and experimented with.
However, we shouldn’t abandon mobile devices… yet.
Graph credit: Pew Research Center.