New devices boost web usage in Germany

22 August 2012

BERLIN: Rising numbers of German consumers are accessing the web from tablets and mobile phones, but this internet usage is seemingly incremental, rather than serving as a substitute for PCs.

Following a survey conducted among a nationally-representative sample of 1,531 people, TNS-Infratest, the research firm, found 85% used the net on a PC or notebook, an increase from 83% in 2011.

Mobile web penetration had also improved from 19% to 34% during this period, not least as a result of the surge in demand for smartphones.

Elsewhere, 7% of interviewees went online via a TV, set-top box or games console, up one percentage point from 2011. Another 5% did so through a tablet, a lift of three points over the last 12 months.

"Because each device has its own advantages, the user can choose which channel is best suited according to the situation," said Andrea Geißlitz, an associate director at TNS.

"The rapidly growing use of smartphones, tablets and web-connected televisions will lead to more and more people have more than one internet-enabled device."

Overall, 38% of respondents visited social networks like Facebook from a computer. An additional 16% of the panel participated in the same activity from their mobile phone, a total hitting 2% for tablets.

A further 29% of contributors signed in to instant messaging platforms on a PC or laptop, reaching 10% when discussing wireless handsets and just 1% for slates like Apple's iPad or Amazon's Kindle Fire.

Over 40% of those polled also employed digital banking tools, looked for news and information and streamed video from a computer, uptake levels at least four times higher than for the other featured channels.

Among the consumers who went online using a tablet, the most popular pastimes included reading news on 62%, watching video on 49%, social networking on 48% and ecommerce on 33%.

Social networking was the most widespread habit for peers logging on through a mobile phone, again on 48%. Reading news was on 33%, while playing back video was tied with instant messaging on 28%.

Data sourced from TNS-Infratest; additional content by Warc staff