The percentage of global web traffic on mobile phones has surged over the past decade. As of February 2021, 55.56 percent of all web traffic comes through mobile phones. 

If we were to go back a decade to 2011, this figure was at a meager 6.09 percent. Fast forward five years later to 2016 and the percentage of web traffic on mobile had already quadrupled to 24.19 percent.

The quickest growth rate came from the first few years of the decade and has slowed significantly since then. Comparing the percentage of web traffic on mobile, the average year-over-year growth rate from 2011 to 2016 was 49.64 percent, compared to 5.22 percent from 2016 to 2021. 

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Mobile vs Desktop Internet Usage

For some to win, others must lose. The rise in the percentage of web traffic on mobile has had an immense impact on desktop web traffic. 

In 2011, nearly all web traffic came through desktops (93.91 percent). The very first time the percentage of web traffic on mobile exceeded that of desktop came in November 2016, when 48.25 percent of overall internet traffic came from mobile phones, just a little more than desktop at 46.93 percent. 

October 2020 marked the first time since then that the percentage of desktop traffic (48.88 percent) took that of mobile—even by just a fraction.

Mobile Browsing Stats in the United States

The distribution of mobile vs desktop internet usage in the United States over the past ten years reflects a similar pattern, where the percentage of web traffic on mobile has also surged. As of February 2021, 47.92 percent of the total web visits are currently mobile, compared to 7.28 percent in 2011.

Of the mobile internet browsers, Apple’s Safari is proving to be the most popular choice among all mobile internet users in the US. The latest figures show that 57.51 percent of all US mobile users use Safari to browse the internet, with Google Chrome coming in second with 35.56 percent. 

These mobile browsing stats should come as no surprise, given that iPhones are popular in the US and Safari is pre-installed on all iPhone devices. As it stands, there are approximately 110.3 million iPhone users in the US.

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