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Expanding smartphone use makes mobile web critical: BrowserStack

Smartphone sales are continuing to soar globally with user numbers forecast to keep rising for the next four years — highlighting a growing need for mobile-friendly apps and websites.

IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker expects 1.38 billion smartphones to ship globally in 2021, up 7.7% on 2020, with growth slowing but continuing in 2022.

The statistic underlines the importance of well designed and developed mobile apps and websites.

A tweet by cross-platform developer tools vendor BrowserStack reveals that more than half of internet users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed website on mobile.

BrowserStack technical writer Shreya Bose has written: “Making websites responsive isn’t just an option anymore, it is a necessity.”

This means that responsive design that works across multiple browsers and fluid scaled grids as well as considering issues such as touchscreens, loading time and font display has become more important, suggests Bose.

Ryan Reith, mobile device tracker vice president at IDC, said the smartphone market returned to growth during the holiday quarter last year, with production from top suppliers ramp up since — partly due to the push for 5G.

“IDC expects average selling prices for 5G Android devices to drop 12% year over year in 2021, to $456, and below $400 in 2022. Apple will continue to feel price pressure,” Reith reported.

Other research, from Gartner, found that worldwide smartphone sales grew 26% in the first quarter of 2021 due partly to improved consumer confidence and pent-up demand. Samsung still leads the market in terms of units sold, followed by Apple and then Xiaomi.

According to research aggregator Statista, the total number of smartphone users worldwide was just 3.7 billion in 2016, compared to today’s 6.4 billion — with user numbers tipped to reach 7.5 billion by 2025.

As of April 2021, 56.2% of global web traffic comes via mobile phones, according to marketer tools firm Oberlo.

( Photo by Eirik Solheim on Unsplash )

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