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Report: Internet access skyrockets on mobile

Wed, 06/27/2012 - 1:54pm
Andrew Berg, Wireless Week

Pew Research Center graphicMore and more, people are turning to their mobile phones for their Internet fix. According to new research from the Pew Internet and American Life Project, 17 percent of cell phone owners do most of their online browsing on their phone rather than a computer or other device.

The study found that most prefer their mobile for its convenience, but for some their phone is their only option for online access.

Nearly half of all 18- to 29-year-old individuals who use the Internet on their cell phones do most of their online browsing on their mobile device. Half of African-American cell Internet users do most of their online browsing on their phone, double the proportion of whites. Two in five Latino cell Internet users 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.

According to the report, 64 percent of cell-mostly Internet users mention factors related to convenience or the always-available nature of mobile phones when asked for the main reason why they do most of their online browsing on their cell phone.

Some 88 percent of adults in the United States owned a cell phone of some kind as of April, and more than half of these cell owners use their phone to go online, an increase of 31 percent since the same time last year.

These are the findings from a national telephone survey conducted March 15 to April 3 among 2,254 adults ages 18 and over, including 903 interviews conducted on the respondent’s cell phone. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish. The margin of error for all cell phone owners is plus or minus 2.6 percentage points, and the margin of error for cell phone owners who go online using their phones is plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.

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