Consumers Connecting to the Web on Wide Variety of Devices

Despite still dominating in emerging markets, feature phones continued to lose traffic share, while more users connect to the Web with smart TVs and tablets. 

Consumers are accessing the Web through new emerging devices and technologies, such as tablets and smart TVs, according to the Netbiscuits Quarterly Web Trends Report, which is based on the Netbiscuits Platform.

The platform handles billions of mobile Web and content impressions a month.

For the first time, digital cameras have also appeared among devices being used to access mobile Internet content. Web traffic continues to increase, with impressions from set top boxes and TVs up by 138 percent. This is not happening in place of tablet or smartphone uptake, which continues to see a healthy sequential growth, but in addition to the general increase in connected devices, the report noted.

The tablet phenomenon shows no signs of slowing down, with sequential growth month-on-month accelerating to reach double-digit growth in January 2013. Apple tablets top the lists of dominant tablets with a 33.9 percent share, followed by Samsung at 24.2 percent.

On device profiles, the iPad iOS 6 leads on Apple, while Android 4.0 on the Galaxy Tab 2 leads for Samsung. The report also points out Android operating systems are not limited to one tablet, with Android 4.2 on the Nexus 7 taking third place for Asus. Android retained its overall lead in terms of Web access share in January 2013 at 41 percent, with iOS a close second at 37 percent.

However, the report revealed that compared to 2011, there were more than double the numbers of total Android device profiles in the Netbiscuits database, which could lead to the complexity of catering for this market segment when adopting a one-size fits all mentality.

"This evidence creates a serious challenge for brands, as more devices come in numerous different technologies, sizes and configurations,” Netbiscuits CEO Michael Neidhoefer said in a statement. “Without adopting a fully future-proofed, multiscreen, multichannel approach, companies risk falling behind and ultimately wasting money and losing consumers."

Despite still dominating in emerging markets, feature phones continued to lose traffic share, indicating that smarter devices capable of advanced user experiences are becoming the norm.

"The Web is changing rapidly and many organizations are not even prepared for today, let alone the future," Neidhoefer continued. "New technologies are emerging very rapidly but they are being rolled out on different devices at different rates, while variations of technology will continue to exist. Accommodating these changes in a cost-effective way will require solutions from market experts, centralized Web development using standards and clear engagement strategies with end-users to deliver optimized experiences for personal device choices."

The report also noted the increasing number of devices hitting the market and the unrelenting fragmentation of various operating systems and profiles means it is harder than ever for brands to build consistent Web experiences designed to meet the growing expectations of consumers across all devices.

"The fragmentation of the mobile marketplace extends far beyond smartphone and tablet screen sizes, and reveals a staggering amount of difference in context, capabilities and device specifications – all of which need considering when developing a robust mobile strategy," the report concluded.