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10 surprising statistics on mobile web design

We're all acutely aware of the fact that we live in an era of mobile devices but when it comes to influencing decision-makers in your company, you need hard numbers underlining the importance of mobile devices today. We’ve put together a ready-made list of statistics related to mobile web design which will help you, and your teammates, better understand the world of mobile browsing today.

1. The average size of a web page is now larger than the original Doom’s install image (2MB)

Web pages have grown to an enormous size of over 2MB on average which, as DeviceAtlas CTO Ronan Cremin put it, is the size of the Doom's install image, the famous First Person Shooter game released in 1993.

Recall that Doom is a multi-level first person shooter that ships with an advanced 3D rendering engine and multiple levels, each comprised of maps, sprites, and sound effects. Even in 2016, the web's variable connectivity struggles to deliver web pages this large.

Of course you can address page weight issues by using a device detection solution. Here are some tips on improving web performance which can help you tackle this problem.

Source: 1

2. 17% of all websites use RWD, 21% use mdot or .mobi

According to a study by Akamai done in 2015, 17% of all websites surveyed used responsive design, while 21% used separate URLs mobile setup (mdot, .mobi). 62% of websites were based on neither of these approaches and this group includes websites using adaptive web design based on dynamic serving (not using mdot URLs). Interestingly, among the most visited websites adaptive is much more popular than responsive (check out the next point).

Source: 1

3. 82% of top 100 Alexa websites use adaptive design

While RWD is getting more attention today, most of the largest websites use adaptive web design, not responsive. It includes Google, Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, Yahoo, Baidu, and many more. In other words, these websites deliver a highly-optimized experience tailored to specific device characteristics so that each user gets the best viewing experience. They use either separate URLs or dynamic serving.

Source: 1, 2

4. Mobile Safari has 52% market share, Chrome Mobile 32%, Samsung Browser 11% in the USA

From the mobile web design's perspective, it’s important to know which browsers are the most used in each local market for testing and compatibility purposes. In the case of the US market, the most used web browsers, based on website visits, are as follows: Mobile Safari (53.67%), Chrome Mobile (32,12%) and Samsung Browser (11.6%). Interestingly, Samsung Browser enjoys a relatively large share in other countries as well, including Germany (24.6%), UK (16.5%), France (15.8%), and Italy (14.4%).

Source: 1

5. Mobile users typically wait 6-10 seconds before abandoning a website

According to a study by Kissmetrics, 30% of mobile users wait 6-10 seconds for a website to load on their phone while 16% only wait between 1 and 5 seconds.

33% of mobile users expect the website to load as fast as on a desktop computer or faster. 25% of users surveyed say that the mobile website can be “almost as fast” as the desktop website.

Source: 1

6. 68% of digital media time now spent on mobile devices

The latest report by ComScore revealed that the amount of digital media time spent using mobile devices reached 68% in the U.S. That leaves only 32% of digital media time for using desktop or laptop computers. The smartphone has now become the primary way of getting online and for many users it is the only way to access online content.

Source: 1

7. 750x1334 is the most popular smartphone screen resolution in the US

Smartphone makers keep adding pixels to their flagship models, for which QHD (1440 x 2560) is now basically standard. Other popular screen resolutions include 1080x1920 (full HD), 750x1334 (some iPhone models), and 720x1280 (some mid-range and low-end devices).

According to DeviceAtlas web browsing statistics in 2016, the most used smartphone screen resolutions in selected markets are as follows:

Country Most used smartphone screen resolution Country Most used smartphone screen resolution
Italy 720x1280 Australia 750x1334
France 640x1136 India 720x1280
Germany 1080x1920 Nigeria 720x1280
Spain 1080x1920 Malaysia 1080x1920
UK 750x1334 USA 750x1334

Source: 1

8. The average conversion rate on mobile is over 3x lower than on desktop

The latest statistics on mobile commerce released by Monetate show that many businesses fail to optimize their online presence for mobile users. A lot of users who begin the buyer journey on mobile don’t complete the purchase on the same device. The conversion rate for mobile is nearly 3x lower than for desktop computers. Here are some other stats from Monetate's report:

Source: 1 (PDF)

9. 53% of emails were opened on mobile devices in 2015

According to a study by Litmus, 53% of all emails were opened on mobile devices, 25% were opened using webmail and 22% using desktop email clients. With 28% of opens, Apple iPhone was the most popular email client followed by Gmail (16%) and Apple iPad (12%).

Source: 1

10. Mobile web audiences are almost 3 times bigger than app audiences and growing faster

ComScore's report released this year (2016) showed that mobile browser audiences are three times larger than app audiences and they grow faster. The study indicated that mobile apps are used mainly for engagement, while the mobile web is used for discoverability.

A similar finding was included in Morgan Stanley's report from 2015 which pointed out that mobile browser audiences are twice as large as app audiences (this report was based on the number of unique visitors).

In terms of "digital media time" measured by ComScore in 2016, up to 50% is spent using mobile apps which of course includes time-consuming activities such as music, video, and more importantly, games.

Source: 1, 2, 3

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