US phones used increasingly for internet

2013-09-16 19:11
HTC 8X Windows Phone. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

HTC 8X Windows Phone. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Washington - A majority of Americans use their mobile phones to access the internet, and a growing number use their handsets as their primary online device, a survey showed on Monday.

The Pew Research Center survey found 63% of mobile phone owners now use their phone to go online. And because 91% of Americans now own a cell phone, this means that 57% are "cell internet users."

The proportion of cell owners who use their phone to go online has doubled since 2009, Pew found.

The survey also found 34%of these mobile Internet users use their phones as their primary Internet device, instead of a desktop, laptop or tablet computer.

These "cell-mostly internet users," account for 21% of the total mobile phone owner population, and are most likely to be young adults, non-whites, and those with relatively low income and education levels, the survey found.

Prior Pew studies have found some 56% of US adults own a smartphone, which offers easy internet access.

The latest report found 85% of mobile phone owners in the 18-29 age ground use their handset to go online. That compared with 73% in the 30-49 age group and 51% in the 50-64 age category.

And in the 18-29 age group, nearly half of those with mobile phones say that is their primary device for the internet.

Some 74% of African-American mobile phone owners are cell internet users, as are 68% of Hispanics with mobile phones, the survey found.

Those with lower incomes were far more likely to use their phone as their primary internet device: this was the case for 45% of those with an annual income of less than $30 000, compared with 27%of those with $75 000 or more

The report was based on a survey of 2 252 adults from 17 April to 19 May, with a margin of error estimated at 2.3 percentage points for the full group and 2.5% for the group using their phones to go online.

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