The percentage of global web traffic on mobile phones has surged over the past decade. As of October 2020, 48.62 percent of all web traffic comes through mobile phones. If we were to go back to October 2010, this figure was at a meager 3.81 percent.

Fast forward five years later to October 2015 and the percentage of web traffic on mobile multiplied more than ten-fold to 39.01 percent.

The quickest growth rate came from the first few years of the decade and has slowed significantly since then. Comparing the data from October of each year, the average year-over-year growth rate from 2010 to 2015 was 60.39 percent, compared to 4.88 percent from 2016 to 2020. 

Mobile vs Desktop Internet Usage

For some to win, others must lose. The rise in the percentage of web traffic on mobile has had an immense impact on desktop web traffic. 

In October 2010, nearly all web traffic came through desktops (96.19 percent). The very first time the percentage of web traffic on mobile exceeded that of desktop came in November 2016, when 48.25 percent of overall internet traffic came from mobile phones, just a hint more than desktop at 46.93 percent. 

October 2020 marks the first time since then that the percentage of desktop traffic (48.88 percent) has overtaken that of mobile—even by just a fraction.

Mobile Browsing Stats in the United States

The distribution of mobile vs desktop internet usage in the United States reflects a similar pattern, where the percentage of web traffic on mobile has also dipped. As of October 2020, 43.89 percent of the total web visits are currently mobile, compared to 52.15 percent on desktop. 

Of the mobile internet browsers, Apple’s Safari is proving to be the most popular choice among all mobile internet users in the US. The latest figures show that 56.38 percent of all US mobile users use Safari to browse the internet, with Google Chrome coming in second with 36.73 percent. 

These mobile browsing stats should come as no surprise, given the popularity of iPhones in the US and the pre-installation of Safari in all iPhone devices. As it stands, there are approximately 108 million iPhone users in the US.

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