According to the findings of a daily tracking survey on Americans' use of the Internet by Princeton Survey Research Associates International for the Pew American Internet and American Life Project, six-in-ten American adults are now wireless internet users, and mobile data applications have grown more popular over the last year.
The definition of a wireless internet user includes the following activities:
Taken together, 59% of American adults now go online wirelessly using either a laptop or cell phone, an increase over the 51% of Americans who did so at a similar point in 2009.
Cell phone ownership has remained stable over the last year, but users are taking advantage of a much wider range of their phones' capabilities compared with a similar point in 2009. Of the mobile data applications asked about in both 2009 and 2010, all showed statistically significant year-to-year growth.
This year seven additional cell phone activities were included. Among all cell phone owners:
Non-Voice Cell Phone Data Applications (% of cell phone users)
% of Cell Phone Users
By Age 2010 (% of owners / group)
Non-Voice Use Of Cell Phone
Own a cell phone
Take a picture
Post photo or video on line
Send or receive text messages
Send or receive instant messages
Send or receive mail
Record a video
Watch a video on phone
Make a purchase w/phone
Source: Pew Research Center, May/July 2010
Although young adults have the highest levels of mobile data application use among all age groups, utilization of these services is growing fast among 30-to-49 year olds. Compared with a similar point in 2009, cell owners ages 30 to 49 are significantly more likely to use a range of mobile data applications on a handheld device.
Continuing a trend first identified in 2009, minority Americans lead the way when it comes to mobile access, especially mobile access using handheld devices. 64% of African-Americans (64%) and 63% of Latinos are wireless internet users, and minority Americans are significantly more likely to own a cell phone than are their white counterparts (87% of blacks and Hispanics own a cell phone, compared with 80% of whites). Additionally, black and Latino cell phone owners take advantage of a much wider array of their phones' data functions compared to white cell phone owners.