Last year, it was announced that half of all mobile phone owners in the United States were opting for smartphones. Now, we're really starting to see what kind of impact that's having. While the Internet is still young, the overall experience has changed dramatically over the years. Years ago, people were exposed to the internet at schools, libraries and work offices. Then, the personal desktop became commonplace. After that, the laptop entered the scene. And now, we're seeing a huge shift to ultra-mobile platforms.
According to a new report from Pew Internet, nearly two-thirds (63%) of cell phone owners now use their phone to go online. Perhaps most surprising, however, is that 21% of US cellphone
users say that their phones are their primary interaction point with the Internet, not their TV, desktop, tablet, or notebook. Because 91% of all Americans now own a cell phone, 57% of all American adults are cell internet users, and the study found that the proportion of cell owners who use their phone to go online has doubled since 2009. Here's the highlight:
"Additionally, one third of these cell internet users (34%) mostly use their phone to access the internet, as opposed to other devices like a desktop, laptop, or tablet computer. We call these individuals “cell-mostly internet users,” and they account for 21% of the total cell owner population. Young adults, non-whites, and those with relatively low income and education levels are particularly likely to be cell-mostly internet users."
It's hard to envision that this trend will slow down. In five to ten years, we suspect that over half of mobile users will use their phones as a primary Internet
gateway, and it's likely that the Web as we know it will shift dramatically to take smaller screens and virtual keyboards into account. Talk about a sea change.