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Unlike the largely static Internet of the early 2000s, Americans today are increasingly connected to the world of digital information on the go via smartphones and other portable devices. Explore the patterns and trends that shaped the mobile revolution below.
Mobile phone ownership over time
The vast majority of Americans – 97% – now own a cell phone of some kind. The share of Americans who own a smartphone is now 85%, up from just 35% in the first Pew Research Center survey of smartphone ownership in 2011.
Who owns cell phones and smartphones
The vast majority of Americans are cell phone owners across a wide range of demographic groups. By contrast, smartphone ownership shows greater variance based on age, household income, and educational attainment.
Ownership of other devices
Besides cell phones, Americans own a host of other information devices. About three-quarters of adults in the United States now own a desktop or laptop computer, while nearly half own a tablet.
Reliance on a smartphone over time
There has been a steady decline in the number of smartphone users as the primary means of accessing the Internet at home in recent years. Today, 15% of American adults are “smartphone-only” Internet users – which means they own a smartphone, but don’t have traditional home broadband service.
Who depends on the smartphone
Reliance on smartphones for online access is particularly common among younger adults and low-income Americans with a high school education or less.
Find out more
Discover more in-depth explorations of the impact of mobile adoption by following the links below.
Mobile Technology and Home Broadband 2021 Jun 3, 2021
The digital divide persists even as low-income Americans gain tech adoption on June 22, 2021
Some digital divides still exist between rural, urban and suburban America on August 19, 2021
Americans with disabilities are less likely than those without some digital devices on September 10, 2021
All reports and blog posts related to mobile technology.