2012 Mobile Internet Usage Statistics

Posted by Paul Rogers on 30 March 2012

Last year, I wrote an article about mobile internet usage in 2011, after attending a Google Engage event which was heavily focused on mobile marketing. Earlier this week, I attended the latest Westminster eForum event, which was titled ‘The Future of Mobile’ and shared the same focus on mobile. The half-day conference was all about mobile marketing and featured contributions from a number of excellent speakers, including David Dyson (CEO) of Three UK, Ian Carrington of Google, David Stewart from Ofcom, Jake Berry (an MP), Nicholas Blades of Telefonica O2 and Paul Morris from Vodafone

Like the Google event, there were lots of great statistics referenced at this event, so I thought I'd write a similar blog post this time around. Here are some of the key statistics from the event:

  • There are more mobile phones in the UK than people
  • The number of smartphone searchers doubles every two months
  • eBay sells something via a mobile phone every two seconds
  • In 2010, Google became a ‘mobile-first’ company (this means they develop their sites and tools on mobiles first)
  • Smartphone sales overtook PC sales last year (two years earlier than expected)
  • In three years time, tablet sales will be bigger than PC sales
  • Smartphone sales will continue to grow – will be 3 times the sales of pc’s
  • 52% of UK mobile phone users have a smartphone
  • 28% of internet usage is from a mobile phone
  • 19% of search queries in the travel industry are from mobiles (was 11% in 2011)
  • 16% of search queries in retail are from mobiles (was 10% in 2011)
  • 19% of search queries in the entertainment industry are from mobiles (was 10% in 2011)
  • 20% of all YouTube views are from a mobile device
  • Mothers day 2012 – 50% of all online sales came from mobile devices
  • 28% of people in the UK have purchased something using their phone
  • eBay forecasts $8 billion in mobile sales this year (one sale per second)
  • Average of 4 Ferraris sold on a mobile phone every month
  • 49% of all Paddy Power bets made from mobile devices
  • 40 different NFC compatible handsets available at the moment
  • Orange have sold 500,000 NFC-compatible phones in France & the UK
  • 40% of mobile searches have local intent
  • 12% of UK population have a tablet
  • Tablet sales growing 378% year on year
  • 38% of UK tablet owners spend more time on their tablet than watching TV
  • 23% increase in search queries from tablets after Christmas day (due to them being given as presents)
  • 11% increase in mobile searches after Christmas day
  • 53% of people in the UK are ‘dual screening’ (using phone whilst watching TV for example)
  • Total of $241 billion in mobile transactions in 2011
  • There are regular mobile transactions with value over $5,000
  • Whatsapp is made up of just 20 people
  • 86% of all adults own at least one mobile phone
  • Most 3g data used by a single user in February 2012 was 573GB
  • Total international travelling data used for the same month was 350GB
If you have anything to add to this article or would like to ask a question, please do so in the comments section below. You can also follow Paul on Twitter and Google Plus.

Comments (10)

  • Jim Watson Jim Watson on March 30th, 2012

    Great post Paul - Don't be surprised if someone comes along and uses all this juicy data for an infographic :)

  • Tom Tom on April 2nd, 2012

    Wow, I'm surprised with the Paddy Power bets statistics. Is this because they have a good mobile app? For some businesses though, mobile will be hugely important in the coming years. I still believe that non mobile searches will still remain strong for some time. Personally, I don't like browsing the web using my mobile unless I have to.

  • Paul Paul on April 2nd, 2012

    I think the app would definitely contribute to this - and also the ease of access on mobiles when Paddy Power are advertising their 'in-play' betting heavily within game adverts.

    I've got used to using my iPhone now, don't think I could live without it :)

  • Sean Sean on April 5th, 2012

    these are some interesting stats. do you know if any of these are backed up and/or elaborated online anywhere?

    is the $241 billion in mobile transactions global ?

  • Paul Paul on April 10th, 2012


    Thanks for commenting. I don't think they would be elaborated on anywhere else online as they came from presentations at the event which were only made available to attendees and were password-protected.

    I believe this is global revenue.

  • Deni Bachroni Deni Bachroni on April 19th, 2012

    Do You Have a diagram of Mobile Internet Statistics ?
    I need it for my school homework..

  • Chris Chris on May 14th, 2012

    I have some Stats (Deni), we run a mobile hosting service, there are some public domain images I can share.
    Don't be surprised by the Paddy Power Stats, FCBarcelona said they get 40% on Mobile and that was the recurring theme at Sports and New Media Summit on the 11th May. Paddy Power are just slightly ahead of the curve.

  • Pete Pete on June 8th, 2012

    Wow, awesome stats Paul. What gets me the most is your travel stat, amazing how much trust people put in secure bookings via a mobile, and is probably a great indication of spontanious bookings.

    And the other one is 50% for mothers day, is that a sign that people forgot and left it to the last minute?

  • Yousaf Yousaf on June 8th, 2012

    This is a big year for mobile - no doubt about that.

  • Charlie Charlie on June 11th, 2012

    I don't get the stat - there are 100m NFC enabled phones in the UK. That means there are 1.25 NFC phones for every living human in the country. Given that only 40 handsets have NFC, this has to be wrong. Surely it's about 1m, or a global figure?

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