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Farewell Laptop? Mobile Internet Use Jumps
According to a new Pew Internet & American Life Project report released today, 17 percent of all adult cell phone owners rely on mobile platforms to do most of their Internet browsing.
About 17 percent of all adult cell phone owners rely on the device for Internet browsing, according to a new study from the Pew Internet & American Life Project.
While almost 90 percent of U.S. adults own a cell phone, as of April 2012, more than half of them (55 percent) use their phone to surf the Internet — up from 31 percent in 2009.
Of those “cell Internet users,” as Pew dubbed the group, almost one-third said they use their phone to access the Web more than any other machine, including desktop and laptop computers and tablets. Don’t discount larger gadgets like laptops, however; six in 10 cell Internet users mostly go online using a device other than a cell phone.
The convenience of a cell phone and its constant availability to people rank highest among respondents’ main reasons for using mobile Internet, garnering 64 percent of the votes. Doing basic online activities at work or at home, plus the ease of use, pulled in 18 percent of the reasoning. The last 10 percent can be chalked up to participants without a computer or in-home Internet access.
Online access using cell phones has become steadily more commonplace in the years since Pew started tracking the behavior in the spring of 2009, the report said. The increase has grown in tandem with the popularity of smartphones, which is evident in the fact that 46 percent of all U.S. adults own a smartphone of some kind, Pew said.
Surprisingly, the survey counted 45 percent of all cell owners who don’t access the Internet at all on their phones.
The fastest-growing demographic likely to engage in cell phone Web use is 25 to 34 year olds, a group that gained 37 percent of respondents since 2009, according to the report. Young adults ages 18 to 24 predictably comprise the highest volume of online cell users, with those 35 to 44 coming in a close second.
Pew’s findings are based on the study of 2,254 people 18 years and older. To help illustrate its findings, the company performed 903 of its interviews on respondents’ cell phones.
By Stephanie Mlot, PCMag