At the end of 2011 there were around 6 billion mobile subscriptions worldwide, and it is estimated that one third of the world’s mobile users in India and China. As of March 2012, there were more than a billion subscribers in China (1,023.7 million subscribers), with India not far behind (919.2 million subscribers). The US come in a third place, with 331.6 million subscribers.
There are three main telecommunications companies in China providing mobile broadband: China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom. 3G users for these three companies combined amount to 159.3 million users.
So China is unarguably the country with more mobile internet users in the world. But in Japan, people use more the mobile web. According to official statistics released by the Japan Statistics Bureau, four fifths of Japanese people use the mobile web. There are 125 million mobile subscribers (95 percent of the population), and of these 103 million (84 percent of mobile users) are mobile Internet subscribers. These figures considered, the percentage of people in Japan and China that regularly access the mobile web more than double the US.
Mobile browsing vs desktop browsing
With more and more people owning mobile devices with internet broadband, there is one question that pops up: are people still accessing the Net using desktop computers? Well, they are, this way of accessing the internet is losing ground in favour of mobile phones, tablets, etc. According to StatCounter, in May 2012 10.11% of websites visited were accessed from a mobile device.
Although mobile internet is no threat to desktop connections yet, there are some facts that must be taken into account. First of all, that mobile penetration in developing countries is strongest than computer penetration. Most people in those countries don’t have a desktop computer, mostly because they cannot afford one, and the only way to access the internet is using their smartphones.
Another thing that must be taken into account is that not all websites are adapted to mobile (less than 2% of websites are mobile friendly), which makes user experience painful and tiresome. Due to this, a lot of users prefer to access only certain websites that they know are adapted to mobile, and make the rest of searches from desktop devices. This is making companies who don’t have a mobile online presence lose a lot of business opportunities, which could be easily avoided adapting their websites to mobile.