Pew: 38% Of Adults Use Mobile Internet, eCommerce Rising


As cell phones achieve something approaching ubiquity, growing numbers of U.S. adults are using mobile devices to access the Internet, according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project. which recently released its "Mobile Access 2010" report based on survey performed in May.

Specifically, Pew found that 38% of U.S. adults who own a mobile device use it to access the Internet -- up from 25% in April 2009.

This represents substantial penetration of the U.S. population overall, as Pew revealed that 82% of the U.S. adult population owns a mobile device. Crunching the numbers, that means that slightly over 31% of all U.S. adults are using a mobile device to access the Internet in 2010.

The study also contained a number of promising insights regarding mobile marketing and commerce.

According to Pew, 11% of U.S. adults who own a mobile device (9% of the adult population at large) have used it to make a purchase. That proportion rises to 20% among 18- to-29-year-olds. The figure is also somewhat higher for certain ethnic groups: 18% of English-speaking Hispanics and 13% of African-American consumers have made a mobile purchase, versus just 10% for the non-Hispanic white population.



Also, 23% of U.S. adults who own a mobile device (19% of the overall population) have used it to access an online social network, 20% (16.4% of the overall) have watched a video, and 11% (9% of the overall) have made a charitable donation.

76% of mobile device owners have used the device to take a picture, compared to 66% last year, and 72% use it to text, compared to 65% last year. The proportion that have played a game increased from 27% to 34%.

The Pew study also documented a broader expansion of high-speed wireless Internet access in general. Regardless of the specific channel (mobile device vs. laptop) 59% of U.S. adults are now regular users of wireless Internet, including Web access, e-mail, and instant messaging.

Interestingly, 20% of this group (12% of the overall population) access the wireless Internet exclusively through mobile devices, as opposed to laptops. 33% (19.5% of the overall) access the Internet only through laptops, and 47% (28%) use both.

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