Quarter of Smartphone Users Use Phone as Primary Internet Gadget

A Pew study reveals how prevalent smartphones have become

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We've seen you on the street: head buried in your smartphone, checking your email or surfing the Internet without paying attention to where you are walking. Now we know that you are not alone in your smartphone obsession. A study done by the Pew Research Center has revealed that a quarter of all smartphone owners in the U.S. use the devices as their primary means of getting on the Internet.

The study, released yesterday, is Pew's first solely focusing on smartphone usage, which is itself an indication of the growing importance of the devices. About a third of American adults, or 35 percent, own smartphones, and 68 percent of that group access the Internet with them on a typical day. Cecilia Kang at The Washington Post noted that the iPhone and Android, the two biggest players in the markets, were released only four years ago. "In that time, the devices have turned much of America into an always-on, Internet-on-the-go society," Kang wrote. But smartphones' influence extends further in some demographics than others. Users tend to be younger, more educated, and better off than the general population, which is expected. The statistic that might surprise some--though it's consistent with a previous report from Pew--is the relatively high smartphone adoption rate among African Americans and Hispanics, at 44 percent.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.