Pew: 56 Percent Of All Mobile Users Access The Internet

According to some new survey data released over the weekend by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 56 percent of all mobile phone owners in the US access the internet. In addition, Pew says that 85 percent of all US adults now own a mobile phone.

There are approximately 250 million US adults today. If 85 percent own a mobile phone that would make 212 million mobile phone-owning adults in the US. There are roughly 26 million teens in the US and 75 percent of them own mobile phones according to Pew. That would make an addressable mobile population of roughly 230 million (not counting those under 13) people in the US. By comparison, the mobile industry trade association CTIA says there are 321 million “wireless subscriber connections,” which exceeds the total population of the US and suggests a fair number of two-phone owners.

The actual number of mobile phone subscribers is probably somewhat larger than the 230 million above but also quite a bit less than the 321 million claimed by CTIA.

In this particular study Pew did not segment out smartphone users. Previously it has said that 53 percent of mobile phone owners have smartphones. Nielsen says the number is 55 percent, while comScore puts smartphone ownership at 51 percent penetration.

All of the numbers reflected above would be higher if smartphone usage was separately reported. The Pew demographic segmentation data show that all of the above activities are more likely the more affluent the mobile user is (income still also correlates with smartphone ownership). According to Pew data 68 percent of those with incomes of $75,000 or more have smartphones today.

Below is a comparison of the penetration of mobile activities in 2010 and today according to Pew survey data.

Related Topics: Channel: Strategy | Features & Analysis | Mobile Marketing | Statistics: Mobile Marketing | Statistics: Online Behavior | Top News


About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

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  • Peter Kelly

    At first I thought that the number of mobile users accessing the internet is really small, considering how increased in popularity the smartphones are today. However, then I realized, these aren’t only smartphone users, but users of “dumb phones” as well. So, considering the population of the US, the number immediately seems significant.

  • Greg Sterling

    Right. I asked them and they didn’t segment out smartphone users. Google previously published data that indicated 90% (or so) of smartphone users access the internet.

  • John Wentworth

    I wonder who that last 10% is, owning a smartphone without accessing the internet seems somewhat pointless, I wonder if number of them are people are misinformed and think the internet only means when they open a browser. Email and many apps also count as accessing the internet, anything that uses your data connection. If you never access the internet their is no point of owning a smart phone.

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