The latest results from a survey of mobile users by the research arm of Keynote shows 60% of tablet users expect to wait less than three seconds to get to a website.
Smartphone users aren’t cutting site vendors much slack either: 64% say want websites to load within four seconds.
The need for speed is hardly restricted to mobile devices; Keynote found that 48% of PC web users want download speeds faster than two seconds.
But the survey of over 5,000 mobile users showed a fair bit of frustration over download speeds, particularly on smartphones. Asked to list frustrating mobile experiences over the past two months, two-thirds of smartphone users cited "Web pages slow to load."
The next largest pain point felt by nearly half of the panel surveyed was "Website not optimized for smartphone."
(Keynote Competitive Research is the industry analysis group run by Keynote, a leading provider of Internet and mobile cloud testing & monitoring. The survey covered 3,145 smartphone and 1,976 tablet users in the U.S.).
Smartphone Vs. Tablet Habits
In a break out of how they use their mobile devices, the survey found 29% spend at least 1-2 hours browsing the Internet from their smartphone and 37% of tablet users logging that same amount of time as well.
Tablet users conveyed a somewhat different profile than smartphone users. The top five activities on smartphones include accessing local information such as maps and event locations (88%), searching for general information, (82%), participating in social media or social networking sites (76%), reading news and entertainment (75%) and finding local services, like ATMs or stores (74%).
The top five uses cited by tablet users were bunched more closely together. News and Entertainment topped the list at 79%, followed closely by searching for information (77%), watching videos (76%), accessing location information (75%) and participating in social networks (75%).
Tablet users also said they were much more likely to purchase something on their device compared to smartphone users (62% v. 47%) or book travel (41% v. 29%).
"This survey reveals that a majority of mobile users are choosing to consume on-the-go information through their mobile browsers, while personal tasks like email and banking are often accessed through mobile apps whether on smartphones or on tablets," said Don Aoki, Senior VP of professional services at Keynote.
"Mobile consumers have options on how they can access and consume their digital content,” he added.
In a note of warning to website operators and brands on the web, Keynote says it’s research found 16% of mobile users will not return or wait for a website to load if it takes too long and six percent will go to a competitor's website instead.