In January of this year, the total amount of time American adults spent accessing the internet from smartphones matched the amount of time they spent going online from PCs, details Millennial Media in a new report produced with comScore. But some demographics are spending considerably more of their time accessing the internet via mobile devices than others: as of January, 18-24-year-olds spent almost two-thirds (64%) of their online time using smartphones (54%) and tablets (10%).
Notably, though, 18-24-year-olds weren’t the heaviest mobile users. That distinction belonged to women in the 25-49 age bracket, for whom smartphones (54%) and tablets (13%) accounted for a full two-thirds of their internet time.
In the 25-49 demographic, women are spending far more of their online time with mobile devices than men, for whom smartphones and tablets combined for about half of time spent online. Essentially, the smartphone versus PC results were flipped when sorting by gender: women spent more of their online time accessing via smartphones (54%) than PCs (32%), while for men, online time spent with PCs (49% share) outpaced time spent with smartphones (41% share).
Not surprisingly, adults aged 50 and older skewed the most towards desktops, spending a majority 56% of their online time via PCs, compared to just 29% using smartphones. But, these adults were the heaviest relative users of tablets, spending 15% of their online time with those devices, versus 10-13% for the other demographics analyzed.
Overall, smartphone time online grew by 24% year-over-year in January, with tablet time online up 35%. Time spent accessing the internet via PCs was down by 6%. The report notes that since January, smartphone internet time has surpassed PC internet time. (Earlier this year, comScore reported that time spent in mobile applications overtook PC internet time for the first time in January.)
The online consumption figures are reflected to some extent in the study’s breakdown of multi-screen users by demographic. In January, men aged 25-49 were more likely than women of that age to be PC-only internet users (15% vs. 9%), while being less likely to be mobile-only (7% vs. 11%). In fact, a larger portion of connected women aged 25-49 are mobile-only (11%) than PC-only (9%), the only demographic for which this is the case.
Even so, the vast majority of 25-49-year-olds (roughly 8 in 10) count as multi-screen users, employing PCs and mobile devices to access the internet.
Despite spending a majority of their internet time using PCs, only 36% of the 50+ group accesses the internet via PC only. Some 62% are multi-screen users, while just 2% are mobile-only.
The 18-24 age bracket emerges as the most mobile-only, at 15% of the connected population. Two-thirds access the internet via PC and mobile, while 18% are PC-only.