As of 2011, 83% of American adults own a cellphone and 35% own some form of “smartphone.” This equals more than 300 million mobile phones currently in use, up from 86 million just a decade ago.
A 2011 report by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, “Americans and Their Cell Phones,” used data from telephone interviews conducted in April and May 2011, among a sample of 2,277 adults aged 18 and older, to catalog how Americans view and use their mobile phones.
Key findings include:
Overall, 51% of mobile phone owners use their devices to access information, 42% as entertainment devices, and a full 13% to avoid interacting with the people around them. For users under the age of 29, 70% use them to stave off boredom and 30% have pretended to talk on phones to avoid interpersonal contact.
Since an earlier report in May 2010, five of the most prevalent activities had risen significantly, including “sending photos and videos” (up from 36% to 54%), “accessing the Internet” (from 38% to 44%) and “sending and receiving email” (from 34% to 38%).
For smartphone users (35% of Americans), 92% take pictures and send text messages (as opposed to just 59% of traditional cell phone users), 84% access the Internet, 76% access email, 69% download apps, 64% play games and 59% record videos. Only 13% of smart phone users, however, utilize video-call or video-chat features.
The researchers ultimately found that “cell owners value their phones for quick information retrieval, for entertainment, and for assistance in emergency situations. At the same time, a number of cell owners report that they have turned off their phone to get a break from using it, and that they can have trouble accomplishing desired tasks when their phone is not available.”
Tags: consumer affairs, survey, technology, telecommunications, mobile tech