Cell phones dominate as Americans continue to go digital
Our fascination with electronic gadgets shows no sign of weakening, and in some areas, we are just getting started!
The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project
today released the results of a study that looked at ownership and
adoption of seven key digital appliances by American adults. To no-one’s
surprise, the cell phone is far and away the most popular device, with
85% of Americans now owning one. Young adults (18-29) lead the way, with
96% ownership, but even seniors (65 and older) are getting in on the
act, with 58% now owning a mobile phone of some kind.
are the next most popular gadget, with three-quarters of all Americans
adults owning either a desktop or a laptop computer. As the Internet has
gone mobile, manufacturers of laptop computers have reaped the benefit.
While the proportion of Americans owning a desktop computer has fallen
from 68% to 59% over the last four years, the number owning a laptop has
surged – up from 30% to 52% over the same period.
are also buying MP3 players (including iPods) and gaming consoles,
although adults with kids are nearly twice as likely as non-parents to
own a gaming console.
The potential for e-readers and tablet
computers was underscored by the relatively low current ownership rates
for both these devices. At the present time, ownership is concentrated
around the usual early-adopting communities of college graduates and
higher-income families. But as prices come down and the gadgets become
more versatile, ownership rates are expected to climb, possible at the
expense of laptop computers.
Overall, 8 out of 10 American adults
(78%) own two or more of the seven devices covered by the survey, and
the median adult owns three. As expected, ownership is highly correlated
with age. The typical adult under the age of 45 owns four devices,
while the typical senior owns just one.
The survey was
conducted among 3,001 American adults (ages 18 and older) between August
9 and September 13, 2010. The margin of error is +/- 3 percentage
points. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish, and the survey
included 1,000 cell phone interviews.