A new report shows that the percentage of American teens owning smartphones has risen steeply, along with the percentage who are “cell-mostly” internet users.
A survey of American teens has shown steep growth in the number owning smartphones, along with increasing numbers using their cell phones as their main method of accessing the internet. The percentage has risen by 14% in a year, with 37% of all teens aged 12-17 now having smartphones, and 25% being “cell-mostly” internet users, going online using their phone and not using some other device such as a desktop or laptop computer.
The nationally representative Pew Research Center survey of 802 youth ages 12-17 and their parents also found that 78% of teens now have a cell phone, and almost half (47%) of them own smartphones. That translates into 37% of all teens who have smartphones, up from just 23% in 2011. The survey results make interesting reading for developers who are planning apps; if you know your major market is viewing your app on smartphones, that implies the interface should be designed with that conformation in mind.
Other devices remain popular, of course. 23% of teens have a tablet computer, a level comparable to the general adult population, and 93% of teens have a computer or access to one at home. 95% of teens use the internet.
The adoption of the ‘cell-mostly’ model of internet use is much higher among teens than equivalent adults; while 25% of teens are ‘cell-mostly’, only 15% of adults fall into this group. Older teen girls are the most likely to be in this group, with 55% of smartphone owners saying they see their phone as being their main way of using the internet. As teens are early technology adopters, the overall numbers of people using cell phones for their main internet access seems likely to rise.