New Data on Mobile Phone Use

234 million people age 13 and older in the U.S. used mobile devices by the end of 2009. According to survey by Ruder Finn, Americans spend an average of 2.7 hours on the mobile Internet.

What they do

  •  91% of mobile phone users go online to socialize compared to only 79% of traditional desktop users
  • Mobile phone users are 1.6 times more likely to manage finances compared to traditional desktop users
  • Mobile phone users are 1.4 times more likely than traditional desktop users to rally support for a cause.

What they don’t do

  • Mobile phone users do not use mobile Internet for educational purposes or for creative expression

Key results

The top social uses are:

  • Instant message (62%)
  • Forward e-mails (58%), content (40%) and photos (38%)
  • Post comments on social networking sites (45%)
  • Connect to people on social networking sites (43%)

Top business uses are:

  • Online banking – 46%
  • Check bill/credit card status – 40%
  • Read business blogs – 33%

Top advocacy uses are:

  • Activate support for a cause or position – 67%
  • Post opinions on social networking sites – 45%
  • Forward content on a cause – 40%


  • Men (79%) are much more likely than women (61%) to use their mobile phone to simply “escape”
  • Many more women (70%) than men (58%) go online using their mobile devices to entertain others
  • Youth (44%) are more likely to shop over their mobile phones than the average mobile user (35%)
  • Seniors (82%) are much more likely than the traditional user (64%) to use their mobile phones to educate themselves