In contrast to the largely stationary internet of the early 2000s, Americans today are increasingly connected to the world of digital information while “on the go” via smartphones and other mobile devices. Explore the patterns and trends that have shaped the mobile revolution below.
Mobile phone ownership over time
The vast majority of Americans – 95% – now own a cellphone of some kind. The share of Americans that own smartphones is now 77%, up from just 35% in Pew Research Center’s first survey of smartphone ownership conducted in 2011.
Who owns cellphones and smartphones
A substantial majority of Americans are cellphone owners across a wide range of demographic groups. By contrast, smartphone ownership exhibits greater variation based on age, household income and educational attainment.
Ownership of other devices
Along with mobile phones, Americans own a range of other information devices. Nearly three quarters of U.S. adults now own desktop or laptop computers, while roughly half now own tablet computers and around one-in-five own e-reader devices.
Smartphone dependency over time
As the adoption of traditional broadband service has slowed in recent years, a growing share of Americans now use smartphones as their primary means of online access at home. Today one-in-five American adults are “smartphone-only” internet users – meaning they own a smartphone, but do not have traditional home broadband service.
Who is smartphone dependent
Reliance on smartphones for online access is especially common among younger adults, non-whites and lower-income Americans.
Find out more
Find more in-depth explorations of the impact of mobile adoption by following the links below.
Millennials stand out for their technology use, but older generations also embrace digital life May 2, 2018
About a quarter of U.S. adults say they are ‘almost constantly’ online March 14, 2018
Nearly one-in-five Americans now listen to audiobooks March 8, 2018
A third of Americans live in a household with three or more smartphones May 25, 2017
Tech Adoption Climbs Among Older Adults May 17, 2017
Digital divide persists even as lower-income Americans make gains in tech adoption March 22, 2017
All reports and blog posts related to mobile technology.