America’s Mobile Web Use and the Digital Divide

The image of the affluent and white cellphone owner as the prototypical mobile Web user seems to be a mistaken one, according to a report published Wednesday by the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Center.The study found that African-Americans and Hispanics continue to be more likely to own cellphones than whites and more likely to use their phones for a greater range of activities.To read this report in The New York Times in full, see see:Survey: Majority Of Americans Access Net Wirelessly
A new survey released Wednesday finds that nearly 60 percent of Americans now access the Internet using wireless devices such as a mobile phone or a laptop computer with a Wi-Fi connection.The latest survey from the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project found an 8 point jump, 51 percent to 59 percent, in the use of mobile phones or wireless laptops from an April 2009 survey. The survey found 47 percent of adults use a laptop with a Wi-Fi connection to get online, up from 39 percent in April 2009, while 40 percent, up from 32 percent in last year’s survey, said they use their mobile phone for online activities like surfing the Internet and e-mail. Research: Wealthy Use Laptops, Poor Have Cell Phones
While the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project stated that wireless usage is up in almost all categories, some groups are trending differently than others.It’s no surprise that the wealthy would be more wirelessly equipped with a cell phone and laptop computer — heck, they probably even have an iPad by now — but the report saw something different in the less affluent and less educated masses. Many didn’t even have a computer, but instead seemed to gravitate to a cell phone to access the Internet. About 20 percent of high-school dropouts use only a cell phone for wireless access, and 17 percent of them making less than $30,000 per year do the same. Households with less than $30,000 per year also had the highest jump, about 11 percent (tying with 18- to 29-year-olds) in wireless use. US mobile Web use growing, but still low [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).” Pew study can be accessed from:

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