New Survey Shows Growth In Mobile Internet Use
Are we truly living in a post-PC era? Probably not (yet), but a new study from Pew Internet shows that more and more Americans are surfing the web primarily on their phones. According to the results, more than half of all cellphone owners use their phone to browse the web- and 31% of those use it more than any other device. This shows a big increase from the last available data from 2009.
The info gets even more interesting when you look at it demographically:
- Nearly half of all 18-29 year olds (45%) who use the internet on their cell phones do most of their online browsing on their mobile device.
- Half (51%) of African-American cell internet users do most of their online browsing on their phone, double the proportion for whites (24%). Two in five Latino cell internet users (42%) also fall into the “cell-mostly” category.
Additionally, those with an annual household income of less than $50,000 per year and those who have not graduated college are more likely than those with higher levels of income and education to use their phones for most of their online browsing.
Pew reports that users indicated convenience as a major reason for using their smartphones for internet access, and age also obviously plays a big role. But I think these results skirt another major factor: cost. The economic demographics show that lower income people use phones more- and I imagine there is a big overlap with the group that does not have access to a computer. Smartphones are cheaper, and it’s easier to justify the cost as replacing a land line. So you have to wonder: do the phones fit users’ internet surfing habits, or are their surfing habits adapting to fit the phones?
What do you think? Will more affordable laptops or tablets change how we use mobile internet? Will the internet become strictly for smartphones?