Smartphone Report: 35% of Americans Have One; 87% Access the Internet on It

August 6, 2011

10:00 am

Earlier this summer, Pew Internet released a Smartphone Adoption and Usage survey.  I think it’s safe to say that all of us in the tech community are pretty much tethered to our phones.  I sure am, and I get in trouble for it all the time!

As you can see in the above word cloud (could they have used muddier colors?), most of us toting around mobile phones really like them.  What surprised me about the report, though, is that only 35% of American (adults) own smartphones.  I would have thought it was more.  However, 83% own a cell phone, so that’s more like it, though I could not imagine being unable to a do a million things on my Blackberry.  Still, if you’re an app developer, you are in the right business.

And boy, do we rely on our smartphones for Internet access!  If your website is not optimized for mobile yet, do it asap.  87% of us with smartphones access the Internet or email; 68% do it pretty much every day; 25% mostly go online via their phone rather than computer.

The super unsurprising part of the report is who is using smartphones: the rich, the well-educated, the employed, and the young – in cities and suburbs.  If you live out in the sticks, you probably don’t have one, but if you’re African-American or Latino you are more likely to have a smartphone than your white friends.

Which platform wins the popularity contest?  Android.  iPhone is a runner-up, which you would never know if you dare to enter an Apple store on a weekend.  Blackberry gets honorable mention.

You can access the full report here.


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Monika Jansen is a writer and editor who is happiest pounding out blog posts, newsletters, website content, and other materials. Follow her at: @monikacjansen

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