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Friday, July 06, 2012

Young adults and non-whites tend to go online via mobile phones

Seventeen per cent of cell phone owners do most of their online browsing on their phones, rather than a computer or other device. Most do so for convenience, but for some their phone is their only option for online access, according to a recent survey by The Pew Internet and American Life Project. The study found that young adults and non-whites are especially likely to use their cell phones for the majority of their online activity. Its research found that some 88% of U.S. adults own a cell phone of some kind as of April 2012, and more than half of these cell owners (55%) use their phone to go online. Pew terms these individuals “cell internet users” throughout the report, and says this represents a notable increase from the 31% of cell owners who said that they used their phone to go online as recently as April 2009. Moreover, 31% of these current cell internet users say that they mostly go online using their cell phone, and not using some other device such as a desktop or laptop computer. That works out to 17% of all adult cell owners who are “cell-mostly internet users”—that is, who use their phone for most of their online browsing. Linda Sherry of Consumer Action says the research "really shows why our Wireless Education Project is so important as consumers rapidly adopt new, confusing and often expensive mobile technology." To review this study, go to the The Pew Internet and American Life Project.