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Behind the Numbers: 7% of Americans Are Smartphone-Dependents

Those of us who pay attention to international markets have come to understand that in growing markets like China, many people access the Internet via mobile alone.  The proverbial chicken has come home to roost.  The Pew Internet Project has identified 7% of Americans as smartphone-dependent according to their recent survey.

That is, seven of every 100 Americans accesses the Internet via his or her phone and does not have broadband at home or at work or school.

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This smartphone-only group included 15% of all respondents aged 18-29, 13% of all respondents with a household income of less than $30,000 per year , 12% of all African-Americans and 13% of all Latinos.  As the lower incomes would suggest, costs loom large over their smartphone experience: about half of all smartphone-dependents have had to cancel service because they couldn’t afford it or have frequently hit data caps

These findings have two broad and challenging implications for marketers.

1. Have a mobile-only communications segment/strategy

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