One in ten America citizens own a smartphone but don’t have any Internet service at home, with the poor more likely to be in this situation than those who are well off, according to a recently-released Pew Research Center report.
10% own a smartphone but don’t have Internet
“10 percent of Americans own a smartphone but do not have broadband at home, and 15 percent own a smartphone but say that they have a limited number of options for going online other than their cell phone”, Pew Senior Researcher Aaron Smith wrote. “Those with relatively low income and educational attainment levels, younger adults, and non-whites are especially likely to be ‘smartphone-dependent.’”
Pew says 7 percent of Americans fall in both categories – i.e. a smartphone is their only method of using the Internet at home, and they have few easy options for getting online when away from home. Pew refers to such people as “smartphone-dependent.”
“Some 13 percent of Americans with an annual household income of less than $30,000 per year are smartphone-dependent”, Pew wrote. “Just 1 percent of Americans from households earning more than $75,000 per year rely on their smartphones to a similar degree for online access”.
Racial statistics reveal similar contrasts: “12 percent of African Americans and 13 percent of Latinos are smartphone-dependent, compared with 4 percent of whites”, wrote Pew.
In the US, 24.9 million households out of 116.3 million nationwide have no Internet access, even via mobile broadband on a smartphone. In Detroit and some other cities, nearly 40 percent or people went without Internet service according to 2013 census data.
While many households lack Internet subscriptions, Pew found that smartphone users are increasingly relying on mobile devices to access essential services such as online banking, medical information, government information, real estate listings, job listings, and online classes.
“Nearly half (48 percent) of smartphone-dependent Americans have had to cancel or shut off their cell phone service for a period of time because the cost of maintaining that service was a financial hardship”, Pew wrote.
“In addition, 30 percent of smartphone-dependent Americans say that they ‘frequently’ reach the maximum amount of data that they are allowed to consume as part of their cell phone plan, and 51 percent say that this happens to them at least occasionally. Each of these figures is substantially higher than those reported by smartphone owners with more access options at their disposal.”
Overall, 64 percent of Americans own a smartphone, up from 58 percent a year ago.
SOURCE: Pew Research Center