With 83% of Americans owning cell phones (and 35% owning smartphones), the cell phone has become a ubiquitous part of daily life in the US. In a follow up to their study on smartphone adoption, Pew Internet released new cell phone statistics on how Americans are using those phones.
Cell Phone Statistics: Activities and Uses
Predictably, the most popular cell phone activities are text messaging and taking pictures (both at 73%). I guess the Pew Internet survey assumed everyone uses their cell phones for calls, because they did not ask about it. These popular activities were followed by sending a photo or video (54%), accessing the Internet (44%), sending/receiving email (38%). The number of people using their phones to play games, music and record video were around 35%. Accessing Twitter and video chat made up only 6% of users.
Several activities have become more popular over the last year. The number of people using their mobile phone to access the Internet rose from 38% to 44%. Sending or receiving email rose from 34% to 38%. Sending photo or video rose the most dramatically, from 36% to 54%.
Over half of all adult cell owners (51%) have used their mobile phone to for quick information retrieval. Over one quarter of those people (27%) said that they have been in a situation in the last month were they had trouble doing something because they didn’t have their cell phone handy. Forty percent (40%) of mobile users have found themselves in an emergency situation where their cell phone was helpful. Mobile phones also help cure boredom; 42% of cell owners user their phones for entertainment.
Cell Phone Statistics: Use by Age
Certain demographic factors tended to correlate with more cell phone user. Younger adults, those aged 18-29, were the most active cell phone users. Those with some college education or a college degree, urban and suburban residents, and parents are all more likely to engage a variety of cell phone activities beyond simply voice calling. African Americans and Latinos also had higher rates of usage when compared to white cell users.
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