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While the Internet continues to grow in usage, the number of desktop computers in use is not growing at the same rate.

This finding was based on a survey conducted by Opera to study the demographics of mobile browsers. The global study surveyed over 34,000 users. The study compared how users in different countries prefer to use Opera Mini or Opera Mobile, as the case may be.

One of the most interesting facts found was that in some countries, about 50% of new users connect directly to a mobile device and have never used a traditional desktop computer.

Mobile-only Internet connections by country. Source: Opera Software

56% of Opera users connect to the Internet directly through their mobiles, while 43% of users on other browsers do the same. Users of Opera were also found to be much more likely to buy music or games via the Internet than users of other browsers.

These findings are not really surprising. Industry experts had long predicted that users in developing countries were likely to jump straight to mobile Internet usage as many rural areas in these countries lacked landline connectivity but could be serviced by mobile networks.

Even in developing countries, young Internet users are found to favour mobile connections and could contribute further to driving the disparity between new mobile and desktop connections.