More than one-third (37%) of Americans now go online mostly using a smartphone; as a result, many consumers don’t see the need of having broadband connections in their homes, according to a new smartphone vs. home internet study from Pew Research. Smartphone-only Internet homes, where no traditional home broadband is present, is also on the rise, now pegged at 17%, according to Pew.
The report adds that the percentage of people using their phones to go online has nearly doubled since 2013, the last time Pew asked this question.
For younger people, the percentage who rely on their smartphone to access the internet is much higher. More than half (58%) of 18-to 29-year-olds say they mostly go online through a smartphone, up from 41% in 2013.
A few of the other findings in the research:
- Among non-broadband users, 45% say they do not have broadband at home because their smartphone lets them do everything they need to do online, up from 27% in 2015.
- The share of non-broadband users who say their smartphone is the most important reason for not having a high-speed internet connection where they live has nearly doubled over the same time period (from 12% to 23%).
- The share of non-broadband adopters who say the cost of a monthly subscription is the most important reason for not having these services has fallen from 33% in 2015 to 21% today.
- Some 80% of these non-broadband users say they are not interested in getting high-speed connections at home.
- About 17% of U.S. adults are “smartphone-only internet users” – meaning they report owning a smartphone but do not have a traditional high-speed internet connection where they live. This share has roughly doubled since 2013, when 8% of adults fell into this category.