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Americans and Mobile Computing: Key Trends in Consumer Research Government Mobility Forum December 7, 2011 Washington, DC Aaron W. Smith Senior Research Specialist Pew Internet Project
Part of the Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan “fact tank” based in Washington, DC Provide high quality, objective data to thought leaders and policy makers Funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts All data is from nationally representative telephone surveys of… –U.S. adults age 18+ or U.S. teens ages 12-17 –Drawn from dual-frame (landline + cell phone) samples
The Gadget Landscape The Rise of Ubiquitous Mobile Connectivity How Americans Use Their Phones Engagement With Mobile Activities and Applications The Meaning of Mobile What is the Value Users Place on Their Mobile Devices?
The Gadget Landscape
Cell phone use is on the rise Changing Demographics of Cell Ownership
Cell phone use is on the rise In 2011, 84% of Adults Have a Cell Phone In 2000, 53% of adults owned a cell phone In 2011, ¼ of US households are cell only Mobile Grows, Desktop Use Declines % of U.S. Adults Who Own Each Type of Device
Cell phone use is on the rise 1/3 of US Adults are Smartphone Users 15% don’t know if their phone is a smartphone 13% don’t know what type of phone they own Smartphone Ownership is Highest Among… % of adults within each group who have a smartphone Among low-income (<$30k HH income, 22% adoption): 39% of 18-29 have smartphone, 92% have cell 4% of 65+ have smartphone, more than half no cell Based on May 2011 Pew Internet Tracking Survey
35% of smartphone owners / 15% of cell owners Young adults (especially 18-24) African Americans (mostly not pre- paid) Major Smartphone Platforms Based on August 2011 Pew Internet Tracking Survey 24% of smartphone owners / 10% of cell owners College grads HH income $75k or more 24% of smartphone owners / 10% of cell owners College grads HH income $75k or more Employed full-time
Percent of US adults 18+ who own each type of gadget… Based on Pew Internet Tracking Survey, 2010-2011 Tablet ownership rose from 4% to 10% between September 2010 and August 2011 Tablet and E-Reader Use is Growing Tablet and e-reader ownership is highest among…. college graduates adults with household incomes of $75,000+
In 2011, Roughly 2/3 Adults are Wireless Internet Users Based on August 2011 Pew Internet Tracking Survey
SNS, Youth & Health How Americans Use Their Phones
Information of all kinds is portable % of adult cell owners who use their phone to… Send/receive text messages73% Take a picture73 Access the internet44 Send a photo or video to someone54 Send or receive email76 Record a video59 Access a social networking site59 Watch a video54 Post a photo or video online45 Access Twitter15 Based on August 2011 Pew Internet Survey The most active mobile users are: Young adults (especially 18-29, but biggest drop-off around age 50) College graduates Adults living in urban or suburban areas Parents African Americans and Latinos
Usage Patterns Also Vary by Phone Type Based on May 2011 Pew Internet Tracking Survey Take pictures Text messaging Use the internet Use email Play games Social networking Use Twitter Watch videos Do online banking % of cell owners who use their phones to…
Cell phone use is on the rise The typical user sends/receives 10 texts per day 31% of text messaging users prefer a text to a voice call but… It’s not necessarily a replacement—heavy text users also make a lot of voice calls Number of text messages sent/received per day Based on cell phone owners in each group Based on May 2011 Pew Internet Tracking Survey
App downloading is highest among… Young adults Higher income adults College graduates Adults living in urban or suburban areas ___________________________________________ Most app users use 5 or fewer apps regularly About 1/3 are “power users” who use 6+ apps weekly Nielsen data show the most popular apps are… Games News/Weather Map/Navigation Social Networking What About Apps? One in three adults download apps to a cell phone or tablet computer Based on August 2011 Pew Internet Tracking Survey
From Superhighway to Bypass Apps provide direct connections to information % of app downloaders who have downloaded each type of app… Based on August 2011 Pew Internet Tracking Survey
28% of cell owners use their phones to get directions or recommendations based on their current location, but only 5% use check-in services on their phone _____________________ 1/3 of adults use mobile devices to check weather or to find local restaurants or businesses 1/5 use mobile devices to get information about local traffic or transportation 1/6 use mobile devices to get discounts/use coupons at local stores Information is Location-Based Based on Jan 2011 and May 2011 Pew Internet Surveys
SNS, Youth & Health The Meaning of Mobile
Cell phone use is on the rise What one word best describes how you feel about your cell phone? 72% of responses positive, 16% negative Based on May 2011 Pew Internet Tracking Survey
Mobile (and smartphones especially) changes the relationship between information, time and space… 51% of cell owners use phone to get information they need right away (smartphone owners: 79%) 42% use phone to entertainment themselves when bored (smartphone owners: 72%) and 40% have been helped by phone in an emergency situation but… 29% turn phone off occasionally just to get a break 13% have pretended to be using their phone to avoid interacting with people around them 36% of smartphone owners have been frustrated by slow download times, and 34% have had trouble doing something recently because they didn’t have their phone Based on May 2011 Pew Internet Tracking Survey
25% of smartphone owners say that they use their phone for most of their online browsing _____________________ Some do so out of convenience, some out of necessity: 84% of these “cell mostly” users own a desktop or laptop computer, but 32% lack high-speed access at home Within the smartphone universe, “cell mostly” internet users skew young, non- white, and low income/education Cutting the Internet Cord Based on May 2011 Pew Internet Tracking Survey
77% use their tablet every day Users spend an average of 1 hour, 35 minutes on their device daily 53% get news on their tablet daily --------------------------- Other common daily activities: Email (54%) Social Networks (39%) Games (30%) Read Books (17%) Watch Videos (13%) Focus on Tablet Users Based on 2011 Pew Research tablet user panel surveys
Information purveyors can… Provide people with direct access to the information that is most important to them Provide timely information when and where people need it most Make their information portable Operate in a 24/7 world, be constantly connected Connect their information to real-world places Create opportunities for information immersion and augmented realities You can be a… Filter Curator Node in a Network Community Builder Lifesaver Tour Guide What does all of this mean for YOU?
Aaron W. Smith Senior Research Specialist Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @pewinternet @aaron_w_smith All data available at pewinternet.org
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