Mobile Devices Becoming Preferred Choice for Internet Access

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Nearly 41 million U.S. internet users will go online only on a mobile device in 2017, an increase of more than 4 million users from a year earlier, according to a recent report from digital data analyst eMarketer, as an increasing number of Americans rely on mobile devices to access the internet.

The number of people forecast to go online exclusively on mobile phones or tablets is forecast to rise to 14.9% of internet users, up from 14.6%, according to New York-based eMarketer. Smartphone adoption will fuel an increase in mobile-only internet users, forecast to rise to 53.2 million people, or 18.3% of internet users, by the end of the forecast period of 2021.

By the end of 2017, 84.1% of the U.S. population will go online regularly, and there will be a shift toward using mobile devices for internet access.

EMarketer says there will be 274.6 million U.S. internet users in 2017, and 93.4% of them will go online via mobile device. By 2021, that proportion will rise to 95.4%.

Smartphone adoption is climbing in the United States. About 67.3% of the population will own a version of this device this year, or 219.8 million people. Adoption by adults 65 years old and over will help drive growth. The number of smartphone users is expected to reach 245 million by 2021.

Some of the most popular digital activities among internet users are video viewing (81.1%), audio listening (71.4%) and social networking (70.7%). All these activities have been powered by expanding smartphone ownership and usage.