Four in ten American adults access the internet through a smartphone, a proportion that has grown by eight percentage points in just a year, a new study shows.
The Pew Research study reveals that US consumers are buying more advanced mobile handsets and using them for a wider range of applications than ever before, despite the fact that mobile phone ownership has remained stable since 2009.
Around 34% of American adults use smartphones to send emails; 23% have accessed a social networking site using their phone, and 11% have purchased a product with their handsets.
Predictably, the percentages are much higher among 18-29 year olds. Nine in ten own a mobile phone, with 65% accessing the internet and 48% social networking sites.
But some analysts have warned of an impending slowdown in the pace of smartphone penetration.
MKM Partners analyst Tero Kuittinen told BusinessWeek that penetration will start to slow down this year in-line with a decline in the consumer confidence index.
As a result, the market could see a more subdued next wave of growth, concentrated around lower-priced smartphones.
Some US networks are also cutting unlimited data options in the face of growing network congestion, which could also serve to limit growth in mobile browsing.
Because of this growing congestion, the revelation that 34% of US smartphone users use their phones to record video - and 15% to upload a photo or video online – carries some serious implications for the nation's operators, GigaOM commented.