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 eight-in-ten 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 just over one-in-ten 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.
Home Broadband 2015: Barriers to broadband adoption Dec. 21, 2015
Technology Device Ownership 2015 Oct. 29, 2015
U.S. Smartphone Use in 2015 April 1, 2015