November 2, 2012

Number of Americans with Mobile Connections to the Web on the Rise

50%

Half of all U.S. adults now have a mobile connection to the web through either a smartphone or tablet.

Half of all U.S. adults now have a mobile connection to the web through either a smartphone or tablet, significantly more than a year ago, and this has major implications for how news will be consumed and paid for, according to a detailed survey of news use on mobile devices by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism in collaboration with The Economist Group.

At the center of the recent growth in mobile is the rapid embrace by Americans of the tablet computer. Nearly a quarter of U.S. adults (22%) now own a tablet device – double the number from a year earlier. Another 3% of adults regularly use a tablet owned by someone else in their home. And nearly a quarter of those who don’t have a tablet (23%) plan to get one in the next six months. Even more U.S. adults (44%) have smartphones, according to the survey, up from 35% in May 2011.

News remains an important part of what people do on their mobile devices – 64% of tablet owners and 62% of smartphone owners say they use the devices for news at least weekly, tying news statistically with other popular activities such as email and playing games on tablets and behind only email on smartphones (not including talking on the phone). This means fully a third of all U.S. adults now get news on a mobile device at least once a week. Read More