More Americans Using Mobile Devices to Access Internet

What are Mobile Devices?

Mobile devices, which can also be referred to as handheld, handheld devices or handheld computers, are pint-sized computing devices. Mobile devices usually come with a touch or non-touch display screen and sometimes, even a mini keyboard.

PDAs and smartphones are among the most preferred mobile devices, which offer all the conveniences of a personal computer, along with a very small form factor.

The United States is becoming a smartphone nation.

Americans are increasingly relying on mobile devices to connect to the Internet, according to a report scheduled to be released on Thursday.

Usage of smartphones and tablets to check email, browse the Web and log on to social networks in greater numbers is up sharply, the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration or NTIA found.

The report, “Exploring the Digital Nation: Embracing the Mobile Internet,” is based on aU.S. Census Bureau survey of more than 53,000 households.

Between July 2011 and October 2012, the percentage of Americans who used mobile devices to access the Internet jumped. Downloading mobile apps increased to 32% from 22%, browsing the Web to 42% from 33%, checking email to 43% from 33% and logging into social networks 30% from 22%.

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But those with higher income and education levels are still more likely to use mobile devices to access the Internet, the report found.

Sixty-three percent of mobile phone users with family incomes of at least $100,000 checked or sent email on their devices, compared with 27% with family incomes below $25,000.

Americans with college degrees were 22 percentage points more likely to use email on their phones than those who did not have college degrees, according to the report.

And mobile phone adoption also varied greatly between those living in urban and rural areas. Forty-five percent of urban mobile phone users checked or sent email with their devices compared with 29% of those in rural areas.

Rural Americans were also 13 percentage points less likely to browse the Web on their phones, 12 percentage points less likely to download apps, and 8 percentage points less likely to use social networks.

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Still, mobile phone usage increased across the board.

Mobile phone use in families whose incomes were below $25,000 rose to 77% from 73%.

Disabled Americans’ use of mobile phones hit 72% from 68%, the report found. Seniors 65 and older are also using mobile devices more: 72% up from 68%.

Racial disparities in mobile phone adoption were statistically nonexistent. Eighty-eight percent of whites used mobile phones in 2012 compared with 87% of blacks and Hispanics.

Internet use on mobile devices did not vary a lot by race with the exception of Asian Americans who were much more likely to check email, browse the Web, download apps and use social networks, according to the report.

More than half of Asian Americans reported checking or sending email on their mobile phones compared with 43% of whites, 40% of African Americans and 42% of Hispanics.

“These differences may be due in part to other demographic characteristics, like income and education levels,” the report said.

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Article previously published on usatoday

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