By Monica Anderson From getting news to playing games to reading a book, Americans now have a plethora of devices to choose from in order to meet their technology-based needs. For each type of device, the demographic makeup of owners can vary widely, so this section looks at these differences. Smartphone ownership continues to grow The rise of the smartphone has had a major social, political and cultural impact.
By Aaron Smith As smartphones have grown increasingly common in recent years, these devices have taken on a central role in the information lives of a substantial number of Americans. And yet, those Americans who rely most heavily on their smartphones as a gateway to online services and information are often the ones whose connections to their devices are most tenuous.
This chapter of the report examines the general state of smartphone ownership in America today, with a focus on how these devices fit into the digital access options available to their owners. As in past surveys, smartphone ownership is highest among younger Americans, as well as those with relatively high income and education levels.
However, this does represent an 8-point increase in ownership among seniors compared with early The cost of smartphone ownership The ongoing monthly cost of smartphone ownership depends heavily on the type of plan one has. Along with lower-income users, African Americans and Latinos are around twice as likely as whites to have canceled or cut off their smartphone service, and younger smartphone owners are substantially more likely to have done so compared with older adults.
Lower-income smartphone owners tend to subscribe to relatively low-cost plans covering only themselves as individuals rather than higher-cost group or family plans. Smartphone owners encounter a range of problems with their devices, from functional to financial Smartphone owners encounter a range of issues and challenges when trying to use their phones, some of which relate to the physical function of the phone itself.
This survey asked smartphone owners about three such issues and found that: Along with these questions about functional problems smartphone owners might face, the survey also asked about three potential challenges relating to the financial cost or contractual constraints of smartphone ownership and found that: These financial and contractual limitations more consistently impact non-whites, younger users, and those with relatively low household incomes.
At the same time, smartphones serve as a crucial connection point to the broader world of online information for many Americans. The survey measured this reliance on smartphones for online access in two different ways — first, by asking smartphone owners whether or not they have traditional broadband service at home, and second, whether they have a reasonable number of options for accessing the internet in general — and found that: Demographically, several groups of Americans rely especially heavily on smartphones for online access.
In addition to their demographic differences, these smartphone-dependent users also differ substantially from the rest of the smartphone adopter population in terms of the technology devices they own and financial assets they possess.
They are also less likely to own their current residence, and more likely to rent or to live with a friend or family member. Perhaps unsurprisingly given their demographic profile, many of these smartphone-dependent users gravitate towards relatively low-cost plans: But at the same time, many devote fairly substantial resources towards maintaining their cell phone service: Smartphone ownership is often most financially tenuous for the subset of users who depend on their mobile devices most heavily Even as a sizeable number of Americans indicate that their phone plays a central role in their ability to access digital services and online content, for many of these users this access is tenuous thanks to a combination of financial constraints and technical limitations.
Each of these figures is significantly higher than those reported by other smartphone owners. For the sake of simplicity, the cost figures discussed in this paragraph and the chart that follows refer only to those family plan members who are personally responsible for the full cost of their monthly cell phone service.ICO of the MODULE project which implemented the world's first innovative "smartphone mining" project.
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Here are 10 findings about these devices, based on Pew Research Center surveys: Still, adoption rates have risen rapidly among older and lower.