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How Mobile Technology Affects Economic Activity

Mobile Tech Brings Social, Business and Investment Opportunities to a Global Audience!

Mobile technology is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. The rapid changes in the mobile arena are largely responsible for the shifting focus from standard online platforms to mobile-friendly platforms. In the US alone, some 90% of adults own a mobile phone. 58% of adults own a smartphone and 42% of adults own a tablet computer. Incredibly, 32% of adults own an e-reader. These figures paint an impressive picture, especially when we wind the clocks back to the year 2000. At that time, only 53% of US adults owned a cellular phone. That number increased to 64% by April 2002. Many of the major technological advancements in mobile came about in the past 8 years. 20% of Americans owned an MP3 player in 2006 but that number spiked to 47% by 2010 then tapered off by 2012. Smartphones by contrast continue to show strong growth with 35% of Americans owning them in May 2011, and 58% today. The Pew study found that 71% of US adults owned a desktop or laptop computer (May 2004), and that number grew modestly in the years since, with 78% of adults owning a desktop or laptop by November 2012. 

Trends Among Mobile Users in the US

29% of Americans surveyed admitted to not being able to live without their cell phones, while 44% of Americans noted that they sleep with their phones by their bed to avoid missing any calls or messages. Of those surveyed, 67% routinely check their phones – even if no alerts have sounded. The demographic breakdown paints an interesting picture too:

  • 93% of men own a cell phone compared to 88% of women
  • 90% of whites and blacks have cell phones compared to 92% for Latinos
  • Cell phone ownership is most heavily concentrated in the 18-29 age group (98%), the 30-49 age group (97%), and the 50-64 age group (88%)
  • In the groups where cell phone ownership is highest, people have at least some college education, or a college degree.
  • 99% of people earning $50K -$74,999 own a cell phone while 98% of people earning $75K+ own a cell phone.  
  • In terms of community type, urban dwellers with cell phones number 88%, suburban 92% and rural 88%

Interesting Facts about Mobile Phone Users in the US

Incredibly, some 34% of cell phone users prefer to use their phones to surf the web as opposed to their PCs or laptops. This includes those who trade online, shop online or connect socially online. The vast majority of cell phone activities are sending/receiving texts (81%) and accessing the internet (60%). Sending and receiving emails weighs in at 52%, while downloading apps (gaming, trading, shopping) comes in at 50% of all cellular phone users. Interestingly, 20% of cell phone users have disabled the tracking feature on their phones and 33% of users have deleted their browsing and search history on their mobile phones. Perhaps the most important trend is the gradient of mobile phone usage as opposed to desktop usage. The two intersected in 2014 and mobile continues on its rapid rise while the number of desktop users is flattening out.

In terms of economic activity conversion rates, desktops are highest at 2.78%. Mobile tablets were recorded at 2.42%, mobile smartphones at 0.80%, iPhones at 0.85%, iPad at 2.47%, Android phones at 0.74%, Android tablets at 1.59%, Windows Phone at 0.54% and Kindle Fire at 3.05%. From a business perspective, the PC platform is still the number 1 option for higher sales conversions. Android users spend 32% of their time playing games, 18% of their time on Facebook, 8% of their time on entertainment and just 2% of their time on productivity. 


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