Smartphones switched on in web-browsing battle
IRISH people are increasingly using their phones to browse the web at the expense of desktops and laptop PCs, according to new figures from Dublin-based Statcounter.
The figures, which are based on analysis of millions of web-browsing sessions, show that there has been a 13-point swing away from PCs to smartphones in Ireland for internet access in the last year.
Smartphones now account for 17pc of all Irish online access, compared to just 11pc one year ago. Meanwhile, PCs and tablet PCs account for 83pc of Irish online access, down from 89pc this time last year.
The figures tally with reports from Facebook, Twitter and other popular websites, which show a gradual transition from computers to mobile devices as a first port of call for ordinary people.
A recent Eircom survey, conducted by Behaviour & Attitudes among 1,000 people, found that 53pc of Irish people now have smartphones. The figure underplays smartphone sales, which now account for over three-quarters of Irish mobile phone sales, according to the country's largest independent phone retailer, The Carphone Warehouse.
Meanwhile, a telecoms industry survey conducted by Comreg shows that Irish people are abandoning traditional mobile phone activities such as SMS texting in favour of web browsing and social media.
Statcounter's figures also show that while Apple's iPhone and iPod Touch still dominate Irish mobile internet access, they are starting to slip, while Samsung is rising.
In total, iPhones and iPod Touches account for almost 54pc of the Irish mobile browsing market, down 2.3pc on this time last year.
Samsung is a distant second in the Irish market, accounting for just over 24pc (up 3pc on last year) of Irish mobile web browsing activity among its Galaxy smartphones.
HTC (5.3pc) is marginally ahead of Nokia (4.9pc) but has fallen 2pc in the last 12 months. BlackBerry's web-browsing share in Ireland has completely collapsed, with just 0.45pc of the market here.
The Irish figures go against global trends, where Samsung has overtaken Apple and is now stretching its lead in web-browsing activity among smartphones. It now has 25.7pc of the global mobile web market, up 5pc on a year ago.
Meanwhile, Apple's iPhone and iPod combined have 23.4pc of the global mobile web market, down 1pc on last year.
When it comes to searching for things online using our phones, Google still dominates with 96.3pc of the Irish smartphone market.
Yahoo has re-entered the Irish market at 3.2pc, up 3pc on a year ago. Microsoft's search engine, Bing, barely registers among Irish smartphone users, with just 0.3pc of the market.