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Cellphones Becoming Web-Access Device Of Choice

7 July 2012 in Trading Ideas

The progress of technology makes many popular devices obsolete within a matter of years, and it’s worth considering whether desktop and laptop computers will be next to join the list.

The increasing availability of tablets and the rise in use of internet-capable phones has led many Americans to shift away from using computers – of any kind — to access their email and other websites.

A new study from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project found that roughly 88 percent of U.S. adults own a cell phone of some kind, and 55 percent of them use their devices to go online.

That 55 percent represents a significant rise from 2009, when only 31 percent of survey respondents said they used their phone to go online.

In addition, the study found that 31 percent of internet-enabled cellphone users go online mostly with their phone, rather than a desktop or laptop computer.

The study cited three major factors contributing to increased use of cell phones for internet: they’re more convenient and always available, they fit people’s usage habits better, and smartphones fill access gaps.

This number is likely to rise in the future, as internet capabilities on cellphones increase – and because the younger generation is leading the trend. The survey found that 45 percent of 18-to-29-year olds do most of their online browsing on their phones.

Future uses for cellphones also could drive consumer behavior. ThinkMoney recently reported that a quarter of mobile internet users rely on their device for banking services. As data becomes more secure, this number may increase.

Jim Hemmer, the chief executive officer of Antenna, noted that current concerns about security are “probably why consumers are mostly using mobile banking services for basic tasks like checking their balances and finding ATMs.”

How long do you think it will take for desktops and laptops to become virtually extinct?