Mobile Now the Primary Screen for U.S. Search

Posted on May 07, 2015

It's official. In 10 countries including the U.S. and Japan, more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers. Google made the announcement on May 5 via its blog. The search engine giant says that over half of all Google searches now take place on mobile devices.

Interestingly, Google lumps tablets in with computers, so the claim applies only to smartphones. In a way, Google's announcement was anticlimactic, since analysts and pundits have been predicting the shift for several years. On the other hand, it was something of a shock given Comscore's report earlier this year that during the fourth quarter of 2014 mobile searches in the U.S. accounted for just 29% of the total. Is the shift happening faster than Comscore thought" Or is there a data error in one of the reports"

Phablets such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and the iPhone 6 Plus may be one reason behind the shift. A new study from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech shows that phablets " defined as smartphones with screen sizes 5.5 inches or larger " accounted for 21% of US smartphone sales in the first quarter of 2015, up from 6% at the same time last year.

Prat Agarwal, director of business development at Breezy, doesn't think it matters. "The point of both reports is the same. More and more people are relying on their mobile devices for everyday information needs," he says. "For a long time, people predicted that mobile devices would replace paper. But they're not replacing paper, they're replacing PCs. That's an important message that businesses need to understand."

What Mobile Dominance Means for IT

C|NET journalist Lance Whitney opined that the changeover was inevitable. "Over the past few years, people have increasingly been using mobile devices over PCs to check email, surf the Web and use the Internet in general," he said.

Last month, Google even tweaked its search algorithm for mobile devices to reward sites deemed mobile-friendly and potentially penalize those that are not. But Agarwal says that the growing dominance of mobile is key not just to advertisers and website developers who have to make sure their content is mobile-friendly in order to maintain their place in Google search results. "It's important for everyone in enterprise IT to realize that this shift in behavior is real, it's permanent, and it affects every part of the work day for most employees."

Mobile printing is one area where the trend is extremely visible, Agarwal says. A new market study called the Global Mobile Printing Market 2015-2019, projects that the mobile printing market will grow at a combined annual growth rate of 32.5% from 2014-2019. The report attributes the double-digit growth to increased implementation of BYOD policies. "This growth has been observed as mobile employees may need to print from multiple locations," the press release announcing the report notes.

"As more and more employees rely on mobile devices as primary tools, secure mobile printing becomes a major priority for IT, along with enterprise mobility management (EMM), BYOD policies that address concerns about lost or stolen devices and how lost or stolen devices will be handled," Agarwal says.

For more information on the impact mobile devices have on IT, click here to schedule a Breezy demo now, or watch this video from Breezy, download The Definitive Guide to Mobile Printing, a free ebook. Breezy delivers device and operating system agnostic secure mobile printing with on-device encryption for smartphones and tablets running Android and iOS operating systems. Breezy's secure mobile printing technology is fully integrated with leading EMM providers like AirWatch, Aruba, Citrix, Good Technology, IBM (Fiberlink's MaaS360), MobileIron and many others, and can add an extra layer of protection to the mobile devices that connect to your network or store your data.

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