PCs and laptops are falling out of favor in some cohorts, as smartphones cement their dominant role in media consumption.
In H1 2020, 94.0% of internet users ages 16 to 64 in China polled by GlobalWebIndex owned a smartphone, and a mere 3.3% owned a feature phone. Smartphones were marginally more widespread among younger respondents.
The centrality of smartphones in China is such that many internet users may find a desktop or laptop to be superfluous. PC penetration plunged by nearly 12 percentage points between H1 2019 and H1 2020, from 61.6% to 50.4%—one of the largest shifts in device ownership found in any country surveyed. Tablet penetration also fell sharply year over year (YoY) from 37.5% to 30.5%, with ownership skewing higher among urban residents, affluents, and adults ages 25 to 34. However, it’s worth noting that ownership of all devices apparently declined, per GlobalWebIndex.
The average time spent daily with mobile devices was 3 hours, 10 minutes (3:10) in 2020—a marginal decline YoY. But total time spent with PCs and tablets fell from 2:47 to 2:20 daily.