According to a survey by Google, more consumers use mobile phones than use computers worldwide. The U.K. saw its smartphone usage rise from 15 percent to 45 percent penetration; U.S. and France saw 38, Germany has 23 percent and Japan had 17 percent.
Tablets also are seeing more penetration, with now 11 percent U.S. consumers surveyed having them, increasing from 9 percent earlier in 2011, thanks to the boost of the iPad late in the year and the popular Kindle Fire. Other countries had roughly 6 percent penetration for their tablets.
The survey also showed that handheld gaming ownership was going down, at least among users over the age of 18. U.S. handheld console penetration went from 15 percent to 13 percent; the U.K. went from 17 percent to 15 percent, France went from 14 percent to 10 percent and Germany went from 7 percent to 6 percent. Japan went from 42 percent ownership in the first first half the year to 38 percent ownership by the second phase, despite the launch of the 3DS and the price drop.
Other interesting trends show that smartphone ownership has shifted from only 47 percent female to 49 percent female in the U.S. The shift is more drastic in Japan, going from 27 percent female to 73 percent male, but by the second phase this had changed to 37 percent female to 63 percent male.
There was also a notable shift in the way people are accessing the Internet. In the U.S. 69 percent of consumers used their smartphones to access the Internet daily, while 80 percent of the smartphone owners used their computers to access the Internet daily; in Japan, 88 percent of smartphone owners accessed the Internet daily, while only 73 percent of those same owners used their PCs.