Most Popular Internet Devices for Students | Top Universities

Most Popular Internet Devices for Students

By Laura Bridgestock

Updated January 5, 2015 Updated January 5, 2015

Hello! It’s time for my weekly look at some of the most interesting findings from the ‘Students’ Online Usage: Global Market Trends Report’. (Get the full report here.)

Last week I picked out some statistics on social media usage, and this week I want to highlight some findings on the most popular internet devices…

The big headline story here has to be about smartphones, right? Right. The general consensus seems to be that while tablets are still being gradually adopted, smartphones have already pretty successfully penetrated most markets – especially the ‘youth’ one.

Our global survey of prospective graduate students seems to confirm this – lots of respondents said smartphones were now the internet device they use most often, especially those aged 20 or younger. However, we also found that for all age groups, laptops are still the most often used internet device.

What we asked: “Which internet device do you use most often?”

What we found:

More than a quarter of respondents aged 20 or younger chose smartphones as their most-used internet device – as well as 22% of 21-30 year olds and 18% of those aged 31+

Tablets were named much less often, chosen by 5-6% of each age group

Laptops are still hugely important, getting more than 50% of responses from all age groups

Desktops were more likely to be selected by the oldest group

Who did we ask? Find out here.

Device by Region

We also looked at trends in device usage across different regions and countries. There’s too much for me to summarize everything here, so I’ll just pick a few of the bits I found most interesting…

- Respondents in North America and Europe were less likely to choose smartphones as their most-used device than those in Asia, Africa or Latin America

- Within Europe, respondents in Spain were most likely to choose smartphones as their most-used device

- Within Asia, respondents in China were less likely to choose smartphones than those in Japan or South Korea – but more likely to choose tablets

Surprising, or what you expected? To get a fuller picture and the background of the survey, download the full report now.

This article was originally published in April 2013 . It was last updated in January 2015

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Written by

The former editor of, Laura oversaw the site's editorial content and student forums. She also edited the QS Top Grad School Guide and contributed to market research reports, including 'How Do Students Use Rankings?'


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