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Is a mobile-only world in our future?

Mobile only worldWith all the stats pointing to show that mobile is a huge game-changer, it begs the question: Is a mobile-only world in our future? Is desktop going the way of the dinosaur? We’ve put together some recent stats to dive deeper into the question on everyone’s mind.

Sales of PCs are on the decline

With consumers putting their purchasing power behind new smartphones and tablets, PC sales have gotten a beating. Worldwide sales for 2014 are predicted to reach a 276.7 million, a figure that will slip further to 263 million units in 2015 according to Gartner. Compare that to the predicted 2015 sales of smartphones and tablets at 1.9 billion and 320 million units each, we see that the tendency towards mobile continues.

Desktop abandonment

It’s no secret that desktop-only usage is decreasing across all age groups, but a growing percentage of people are abandoning desktop all together. Latest research from Comscore in the UK shows:

  • 16.8% of 25-34 year olds are mobile only
  • 14.8% of the 18-24 age group have abandoned desktop completely
  • 11.2% of the 55+ set are mobile-only, linked to the popularity and accessibility of tablets & phablets

With advances in smartphone technology, mobile apps and mobile-friendly sites, the user experience on mobile has improved significantly since the days of old Nokia 3310.

Mobile is entering the workplace

One the strongholds for desktop is in the workplace. Even with the advent of the “mobile” worker, we often switch over to our PC to perform more complex tasks. I’m writing this post on a PC, for example. But this is changing, and even staunch believers in enterprise desktop should take note that more SME employees see big benefits from larger screen phones like the iPhone 6 Plus, Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Edge. A recent survey of 1000 SMEs conducted from EE (largest mobile network operator in the UK) , showed that a fifth of respondents are planning to use phablets for work purposes. And that’s not all. Workers are also taking advantage of productivity apps that help them do their jobs and perform tasks quicker.

“The ability to not only view, create and edit documents but also conduct specific business tasks like finances, expenses, payroll and CRM while on the move is easier with a bigger screen, so it is inevitable the two will go hand-in-hand for businesses looking to drive workplace efficiencies”
– Mike Tomlinson, director of small business at EE

What does this all boil down to?

Although many people using mobile are the multi-platform user who switches devices, many businesses may be surprised to see that the mobile-only user is a growing share of their customer base. Take Amazon for example:

“People do not put their phone down then go find a desktop to do something. They use their phone. And we think with clever use of functions and design, it is possible to give mobile customers 100%.”

Paul Cousineau, director of mobile shopping at

A “mobile-only” world may not be in our immediate future, but as we find it easier to perform the tasks we used to do on PC on mobile, it is inevitable that we will use desktop less.  Businesses should look to understand their customer and develop their mobile marketing strategies accordingly.


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