October 03, 2011, 11:54 AM — For the past two years, web browsing via mobile devices has increased steadily as a percentage of total web browsing, climbing from just over 1% in October 2009 to nearly 6.4% in August.
That growth streak ended in September, according to data from Net Applications, a company that tracks web analytics and Internet market share.
In September, mobile web browsing slipped to 5.98% of total web browsing, down 6% from August's 6.37%.
Meanwhile, desktop web browsing stopped a two-year slide by climbing to 93.65% of all web searches from 93.2% in August. Back in October 2009, 98.77% of web browsing was done via desktop.
(Interestingly, web browsing via game consoles peaked at 0.05% in December 2009 and January 2010, and drifted down to 0.02% by July, where it remains.)
The decline in mobile web browsing as a percentage of the total is a real surprise. We're at the beginning of the mobile revolution. There are more smartphones and tablets being used to access the Internet every week. Desktop sales are down. So why would mobile browsing suddenly fall off in September?
It's probably just a statistical anomaly, but anyone with a more elegant (or bizarre) theory is free to weigh in below. Frankly, I'm stumped.