“10% of Americans own a smartphone but do not have broadband at home, and 15% own a smartphone but say that they have a limited number of options for going online other than their cell phone,” wrote Senior Researcher Aaron Smith of Pew Research Center. “Those with relatively low income and educational attainment levels, younger adults, and non-whites are especially likely to be dependent on their smartphone.”
Pew found that 7% of Americans are in both categories –a smartphone is their only internet connection at home, and they have few easily available connection options outside of home. These individuals, Pew refers to as “smartphone-dependent.”
“Some 13% of Americans with an annual household income of less than $30,000 per year are smartphone-dependent,” Pew also wrote. “Just 1% of Americans from households earning more than $75,000 per year rely on their smartphones to a similar degree for online access.” Racial breakdowns found a similar contrast, “12% of African Americans and 13% of Latinos are smartphone-dependent, compared to 4% of whites.”
This smartphone ownership data is based on telephone surveys of 2,002 adults and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points. US Census data from 2013 has previously shown that 24.9 million households out of 116.3 million nationwide have no Internet access, not even mobile broadband or smartphone. In Detroit and some other cities, nearly 40% went without internet service.
While many households lack Internet subscriptions, Pew found that smartphone users are increasingly relying on mobile devices to access essential services such as online banking, medical information, government information, real estate listings, job listings, and online classes. But the high cost of mobile data and data caps leave some without the access they need.
Pew found that overall, 64% of Americans own a smartphone, up from 58% a year ago.
Read Article (Jon Brodkin | arstechnica.com | 04/01/2015)
To quote a comment, “Why would someone forgo $40/month home internet in favor of a $100/month cell phone bill?”
Also, some folks hotspot their smartphone and tether it to a laptop.
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