Mobile Phone Internet Use On Rise

Lee Rannals for

Over half of all cell phone owners use their device to surf the Internet, according to a new survey out by Pew Internet & American Life Project.

The survey found that 17 percent of cell phone owners do most of their online browsing through their phone, rather than a computer.

The rise of Internet use on cell phones has been clear to the public, and Pew said that the rise has jumped in the past three years 24 percentage points.

Eighty-eight percent of U.S. adults own a cell phone as of April 2012, and 55 percent of them say they use their phone as an Internet tool of some sort.

Pew found that 31 percent of the cell Internet users say they mostly use their mobile Internet, rather than a computer.

When considering race as a factor, 51 percent of African-American cell Internet users do most of their online cruising on their mobile device, compared to just 24 percent of the white cell Internet users.

Those who have an annual household income of less than $50,000 per year are more likely to access the Internet primarily through a smartphone, rather than a computer.

As far as why, Pew found that 64 percent of cell Internet users who say they mostly use their mobile device claim it´s because it´s convenient and always available.

Eighteen-percent of cell-mostly Internet users say a cell phone is more compatible with their online habits than a computer.

The reason for some choosing to go mostly mobile when it comes to using the Internet is not due to a lack of computer access. Only 6 percent of the survey respondents that use the Internet to surf on more than any other device said it was because they do not have access to a computer, while just 4 percent admitted they do not have access to any source of Internet beyond their mobile phone.

Pew conducted the survey with over 2,250 adults during March 15 through April 3, 2012.

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