Pew: Americans’ phones grow as Internet base

This article by Emil Protalinski originally appeared on The Next Web.

Pew: 63% of US adult cell phone owners use their device to go on the Internet.

Fifty-seven percent of adults are cell Internet users, which the Pew Research Center defines as anyone who uses their cell phone to access the Internet. Credit: Jung Yeon-Je/Getty Images

One way or another, Americans will find their way on the Internet: 63 percent of adult cell owners now use their phones to go online and 34 percent of these cell Internet users say that they mostly go online using their cell phone. Put another way, more than one-fifth (21 percent) of all adult cell owners now do most of their online browsing via their mobile phone as opposed to some other device such as a desktop or laptop.

The latest data comes from Pew Research Center, an American think tank organization. Given that 91 percent of Americans now own a cell phone, the firm extrapolates that 57 percent of adults are cell Internet users, which it defines as anyone who uses their cell phone to access the Internet.

The 63 percent figure can be further broken down into two categories. 60 percent of cell owners use the Internet on their cell phone and 52 percent use their devices to check email.

These numbers shouldn’t be too surprising given the explosion of smartphone use. Pew previously found that 56 percent of US adults own a smartphone, and 93 percent of these individuals use them to go online.

“A majority of the public now owns a smartphone, and mobile devices are playing an increasingly central role in the way that Americans access online services and information,” Aaron Smith, a Senior Researcher at the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project, said in a statement. “For many, such as younger adults or lower-income Americans, cell phones are often a primary device for accessing online content—a development that has particular relevance to companies and organizations seeking to reach these groups.”

The latest results are based on questions asked during telephone interviews conducted in English and Spanish between April 17 and May 19, 2013. The sample consisted of 2,252 adults (age 18 and older).

You can read the full 15-page report here: PDF.

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