July 10, 2012, 1:24 PM

More than half of mobile phone owners use their devices to go online

17% do most of their browsing on their phones, a Pew report finds.

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In April 2012 55% of U.S. adult mobile phone owners used their phones to access the web, up from 47% in May 2011 and 43% in May 2010, according to a new study from the Pew Research Center Internet & American Life Project.

31% of the more than half of mobile phone owners who go online via their devices say they mostly use the Internet on their mobile phones as compared with desktops, laptops and tablets, Pew finds. 17% of all adult mobile phone owners do most of their online browsing on their phones. 33% of all mobile phone owners use their devices to go online but mostly use other devices such as desktops and tablets, 5% use mobile phones and other devices equally, and 45% do not use their mobile phone to access the web.

64% of mobile phone owners who primarily use their phones to access the web point to the convenience and ubiquitous availability of mobile devices, the study finds. However, 10% say they rely heavily on their mobile phones because they lack more traditional online access.

Smartphones now dominate the mobile phone market. 53% of mobile phone owners have a smartphone and 90% of smartphone owners say they use their devices to go online, Pew says.

45% of all 18-29 year olds who use the Internet on their mobile phones do most of their online browsing on their mobile devices, Pew finds. 51% of African-American mobile Internet users do most of their online browsing on their phone, more than double that for whites at 24%. 42% of Latino mobile Internet users do most of their web browsing on their mobile devices.

Pew Research Center conducted a national telephone survey March 15 through April 3 of 2,254 adults age 18 and over.

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