UK internet: mobile inflection point

14 March 2014

Strong growth in UK sales of mobile devices in 2013, with tablet shipments overtaking declining PC sales, pushed smartphone and tablet penetration up to about 63% and 35% respectively, in line with our forecasts.

We estimate that mobile devices now account for 50% of time spent online in the UK, the lion’s share via apps, reaching this milestone sooner than expected. Mobile internet usage looks set for further growth in 2014 and beyond, with PC-based consumption flattening.

After a slow start mobile monetisation is also rising fast, with UK advertising and e-commerce to mobile devices accelerating and closing the gap with that on the PC. We expect much, if not all, future growth in commercial internet revenues to be driven by mobile devices.

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