Overview – What Devices are People Using to View NovaLoca?
Recently, NovaLoca looked at its website statistics from 2009 onwards to look at any emerging trends amongst our viewers. Specifically, we wanted to see how many users were adopting current technology – such as tablets and smartphones – for their browsing purposes. What we saw was revealing; 8 years ago, 100% of our views came from personal computers, but fast forward to today and nearly half of that figure belongs to the mobile devices. Yet it’s smartphones that are pulling most of the weight, as we see that other mobile device, the tablet, take a sudden decline in popularity.
For home, business and travel, we truly consider the internet a necessity. Compare this to merely 20 years ago, where household internet connections were owned by less than 10% of the UK population, and it’s easy to see how quickly it has expanded its reach. Nowadays, we’re that inseparable from the internet that we carry the internet in our pockets everywhere we go; as we’ve mentioned on our blog pages, we’re set for a constantly-connected, mobile-friendly future.
We decided to look into how this change was reflected in our audience’s viewing habits by using Google Analytics. Not only is it a feast for the analytically minded, it’s how we arrived at this telling graph, demonstrating a sharp climb in popularity for mobile devices.
The rise in those abandoning PCs for mobile devices is consistent since 2009, although recent years see this trend relaxing slightly. Had you asked us in 2013, we may have predicted, perhaps prematurely, that mobile would be king in 2017. Instead, we’re seeing a slowdown which, barring a sudden technological breakthrough, sees the popularity split almost 50/50 in time for 2018. This may relate to the habits of those in the commercial property market; we spend as much time at our office desk as we do between travel, properties and meetings. Other sectors, such as retail, may see an even greater percentage of mobile users – who doesn’t love a spot of sofa shopping, after all? – yet we predict this half-and-half split of PC and mobile will remain a typical statistic for the NovaLoca website.
Still, there are two more statistics to look at. When we discuss ‘mobile’, we take into account devices such as tablets as well as smart phones.
With these devices combined, mobile use is rising steadily. Yet the smart phone makes up the majority of this statistic; tablet use is on the decline, falling faster than their initial adoption rate in 2010, when the iPad was first released.
If you’ll allow us to play the armchair analyst, this may be to do with hardware. Colossal tech innovators Apple arguably started the tablet trend with the iPad, securing the market share in tablets from the off. Yet whilst browsing the internet on an iPad gives a larger viewing area than the humble smartphone, any further benefits are marginal, often lacking behind personal computers in functionality. Applications, especially those such as lifestyle and fitness apps, are also much more suited to the compact nature of the smartphone. All in all, the tablet seems to have spent the last near-decade stuck in that awkward ‘in-between’ phase.
This interesting article from ITPro states that tablet sales are indeed falling, but detachable devices – tablets that emulate laptops when attached to a keyboard accessory – are on the rise. The best-selling of these devices were Apple’s iPad Pro and Microsoft’s Surface Pro, which just so happen to be two of the most powerful on the market. If detachables do become more commonplace, their combination of power and portability may soon dethrone the desktop and tablet device.
These days seem a little far-off though; for the time being, we’re predicting the split between mobile and desktop will rest at an amicable 50% each, whilst smartphone will continue to outgrow the tablet in the mobile stakes. It’ll be interesting to return to these figures in 2018, and yet more interesting to see if the detachable tablet manages to eventually dethrone the personal computer.
Whatever happens, we’re currently in a technical renaissance that presents more options for connectivity than ever before, where even the least popular devices have room to adapt, merge or change. All told, we’ve everything to gain from these revealing new trends.