Study: 25 percent of teens access Internet with smartphones


Donald Conkey, 15, checks his smartphone while doing homework in his bedroom on March 11, 2013, in Wilmette, Ill. A new report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project says more teens are using smartphones as a main means of accessing the Internet -- moreso than adults. (Martha Irvine/AP)
March 13, 2013

The American teenager continues to lead the nation in smartphone use, with one-quarter of teens accessing the Internet mostly from their cellphones, according to a study.

The results of the Pew Internet & American Life Project survey, Teens and Technology 2013, highlight the ubiquity of technology in the lives of teens, who are almost always connected to e-mail, texts and apps through their smartphones.

That is seen in the fast adoption of smartphones: About 37 percent of teens said they owned a smartphone, a sharp increase from 23 percent in 2011, according the survey released Wednesday.

These young users between the ages of 12 and 17 stand out from adults. About 25 percent of teens use their cellphones to access the Internet, compared to 15 percent of adults.

Pew said this group of “cell-mostly” Internet users portend an explosion of mobile Internet use in the future.

“This is the first time we have measured the cell-mostly population among teens, and we expect this to be an important measure moving forward,” said Mary Madden, a researcher at Pew.

And among teens, girls tend to be the most avid mobile Internet users. They are just as likely as teenage boys to own a smartphone, but 34 percent of girls use their smartphones for Web use compared to 24 percent of boys.

Related:

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FTC tightens rules to protect children’s privacy

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Cecilia Kang is a national technology reporter, writing about tech and Internet policies at the Federal Communications Commission and Federal Trade Commission and how regulations affect businesses and consumers.
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