Every quarter ScientiaMobile publishes a Mobile Overview Report, which always has some interesting stats. I look through it because I want to be aware of what kind of devices people over the world are using, and I want to keep the device lab up to date. Here are a few highlights that caught my eye.
Feature phone browsing is (still) about 12% of mobile use
The split between form factors in Africa is 12% feature phone, 62% smartphone, and 26% tablet. Feature phone browsing on other continents is in the single digits, and rapidly dwindling.
This is important to keep in mind because feature phones don’t have great support for fancy CSS and JS. In fact, they don’t have great support for older CSS and JS.
There is no fold
Scrolling is a natural, easy, action on smartphones. People are more likely to scroll if a page takes more than a few seconds to load. Luke W has more great stats and research on this.
This makes me wonder about the many sites that have a large image (or auto-playing video) in the header: how many people scroll right past it (at least on the first visit)?
Android is huge
iOS takes up 33% of the global market (with Android taking up most of the rest), but the picture closer to home is a bit different. Africa has only 8% iOS (Europe and North America are at 32% and 47%, respectively), 8% on Windows phone (more than the rest of the world, but dropping), a staggering 79% Android, and 5% for the rest.
In terms of Android versions across the world, various flavours of 4 take up most of the market, with older version taking up only single digits.
For me, this means updating the device lab with another Android phone that fits the specs of popular locals devices: cheap, fairly low power, but running a version of Android 4 (one of Vodafone’s Smart 4 devices or one of the MTN Steppa family).