The state of the mobile web 2012

on Thursday May 17, 2012 @ 9:07

When Opera Software wanted to understand trends in mobile-internet browsing, and the effect of the Opera mobile browser they turned to us, and together we surveyed over 34,000 users, in 22 countries, on four continents.

Keep in mind that it’s an area that is in constant change, sometimes quite dramatic, for example, since the original research was undertaken in Nigeria, the Opera user base in this country has tripled.

Opera mobile browser user, young man

56% are mobile-only users

One of the biggest finding was that globally 56% of the users of Opera mobile browsers only access the web on a mobile device. These percentages of mobile-only access are more dramatic in developing markets, with 72% of Opera users in Egypt, 69% in Bangladesh, 65% in Brazil and 61% in South Africa.

Looking at a cross section of countries, the primary reason for users accessing the internet on mobile is that the mobile phone is, for many, the only way to access the internet. In developing countries, infrastructure and, in particular, PC/computer access is either non-existent or rare, making the mobile phone the primary, and often only, means for accessing the internet.

Other reasons why mobile is better suited to connect to the internet have to do with convenience - always within reach, already switched on, information is immediately accessible. For much of the world it’s cheaper, handier and more easily accessible tool than a computer.

Data outliers and the Opera-effect

An interesting aspect of drilling down into Opera usage information is to see data outliers and facts that can be employed by anyone trying to target specific user groups. For example, though the majority of Opera users are young men, in various countries, slightly different use patterns appear. For example, women in South Africa, Thailand, and the United States, and, to a lesser degree, Hungary and Brazil, use Opera much more often than women globally, and this number is growing (figure 5 in the document below).

Other key findings include: Opera users are more satisfied users and are strong brand advocates. They browse more frequently and browsing-session length is considerably longer vs non Opera users. Opera users are also actively engage with content, downloading and purchasing, making them high value customers. Full report embedded below.

You can also download the full report.

Join our Newsletter