Citing the exploding appetite for wireless smart phones and tablet PCs among consumers worldwide, a report issued by research firm IDC predicts that the number of people who access the Internet wirelessly will surpass those who surf the web via wired connections by 2015. In its Worldwide New Media Market Model, released on Monday, IDC forecasts a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.6% that accounts for the number of global mobile Internet users between 2010 and 2015 and that also corresponds to continued escalating growth in smart phone and tablet PC sales. Owing to the “impact of smart phone and, especially, media tablet adoption” over that five-year period, IDC anticipates that the number of people accessing the Internet through wired connections “will first stagnate and then decline,” which will result in wireless web users overtaking fixed wireline Internet users by the end of that period. According to IDC, Internet users in the U.S. are expected to lead this trend and will be followed closely by users in Japan and Western Europe. IDC further projects that the overall number of Internet users worldwide will increase from two billion in 2010 to more than 2.6 billion in 2015, thus representing a total global Internet uptake of 40%. Advising the public to “forget what we have taken for granted on how consumers use the Internet,” IDC research vice president Karsten Weide declared that “soon, more users will access the web using mobile devices than using PCs, and it’s going to make the Internet a very different place.”