Study: US mobile Web use growing, but still low

Jul 07, 2010 By BARBARA ORTUTAY , AP Technology Writer

(AP) -- When it comes to accessing the Web over mobile devices, Americans are far behind their Internet-connected counterparts in Japan, South Korea and parts of Europe.

"We are a third-world country where mobile is concerned. The rest of the world is using mobile phones underground, to pay for a parking space blocks away, to buy a Coke from a vending machine," said Jeffrey Cole, director of the Center for Digital Future at the University of Southern California. "We in America are still having trouble getting our phones to (make calls)."

But this is slowly changing. The latest survey from the Center for the Digital Future, conducted last year, found that 25 percent of U.S. went online using their cell phones. That is up from 16 percent in 2008 and 5 percent in 2002.

"The is the single most valuable device in people's lives," Cole said. "It's becoming a device you use for virtually everything."

On average, people who go online using their cell phones did so for about 2.5 hours a week in 2009, up from 1.7 hours a year earlier. For most, this means getting small spurts of information, such as getting directions or checking who won a sports game, Cole said.

A separate study, from the Pew Internet & American Life Project, backs those findings. It found that 40 percent of U.S. adults used a mobile device to surf the Web, send e-mail or participate in instant messaging. Those figures from May are up from 32 percent in 2009.

And more people reported taking photos, playing games and listening to music on their compared with a year earlier, the Pew survey found.

Overall, Internet use continues to grow. Among other findings in USC's report, which is scheduled for release later this month:

- Americans reported spending more time on the Internet. In 2009, time spent online averaged 19 hours a week, up from 9.4 hours in 2000.

- More people are online than ever. In 2009, 82 percent of Americans said they use the Internet, up from 67 in 2000.

- 18 percent of Internet users said they stopped subscribing to the print edition of a magazine or newspaper because they can get the same content online.

- Not surprisingly, texting is most popular among young people: users under 18 sent an average of 81 text messages each day. This is up from 51 in 2008. Counting all age groups, texters sent an average of 38 messages a day, up from 23 a year earlier.

USC's telephone survey of 1,981 Americans over 12 was conducted in April 2009 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.2 percentage points. Pew's survey of 2,252 U.S. adults, conducted in May, has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.4 percentage points.

Explore further: Creating the fastest outdoor wireless Internet connection in the world

4 /5 (2 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

AOL improves mobile service

Apr 04, 2006

America Online announced Monday it will provide a mobile browsing service that will reformat Web sites to small screens of mobile phones.

Survey: Elderly, poor narrow broadband service gap

Jun 18, 2009

(AP) -- Some groups that have lagged in signing up for high-speed Internet service, like the elderly, the poor and rural residents, have started to gain on those who have had a head start, according to a new survey.

Survey: 22 pct of Internet users ditch newspaper

Apr 30, 2009

(AP) -- Sure, plenty of readers are turning more to the Web for newspaper and magazine stories, but are they giving up on print altogether? In many cases, yes, according to a recent study by the University of Southern California's ...

Recommended for you

As dust clears, what's next for Sony?

5 hours ago

The Sony hacking attack continues to deliver more dramatic plotlines than any fictional movie, but meanwhile the movie studio must move forward and tackle the next steps in minimizing the mess. Will Sony ...

FAA, industry launch drone safety campaign

8 hours ago

Alarmed by increasing encounters between small drones and manned aircraft, drone industry officials said Monday they are teaming up with the government and model aircraft hobbyists to launch a safety campaign.

It's down to the wire for online shopping

8 hours ago

As the holiday shopping season winds down, FedEx, UPS and online retailers are using the last few days to try to avoid the problems that occurred last year when severe winter weather and a surge in late orders ...

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

trekgeek1
4 / 5 (1) Jul 07, 2010
What I think the problem is:
1.) Data plans are still too pricey.
2.) Content is watered down (currently improving).
3.) Data rates are still too slow.
4.) Small screens and keyboards frustrate.
mysticshakra
not rated yet Jul 08, 2010
Yeah data plans cost too much and the speed is barely tolerable. Also, what phones can do is still limited.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.