A full 10 percent of American adults now say they only use a smartphone to access the Internet, according to a recent study.
The Pew Internet & American Life Project issued the report in late August, naming young adults age 18-29 as the driving force behind increased mobile Internet use.
“Historically, U.S. adults in that age bracket earn less income, are more mobile, and are less likely to be homeowners,” says data analyst Tony Danova. That means members of this group would prefer a cheaper, more portable form of Internet service, as opposed to being tied down to a home broadband.
Danova also points to the growing availability of 4G and LTE services in the United States as a heavy contributor to the growing use of mobile devices. Networks are expanding and mobile data service is becoming more reliable, making browsing the Web on devices like smartphones and tablets faster, easier and more accessible.
This news has had a ripple effect in the business world of late, with market analysts strongly recommending that online businesses keep a close watch on continuing mobile Internet trends.
Danova agrees: “On top of the general trend toward mobile devices, having 10 percent of U.S. adults accessing the Internet only via smartphones is further evidence that retailers need to tailor their shopping experiences for a growing mobile audience.”
The report and others like it are sure to have a lasting effect on businesses as this information begins to invade the world of Web development. Even now, new and more efficient programming methods are being established to productively tackle the challenges of developing parallel sites for both desktop and smartphone or tablet use. Systems like responsive Web design, a programming method that prompts code to recognize and display only data appropriate to a particular device, are slowly penetrating Web-development operations, and will likely become a growing part of the link between businesses and their developers as the mobile-only trend continues to move forward.
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