Minorities And The Poor Are Most Reliant On Smartphones

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Apr 02, 2015 at 11:58 AM ET

The Americans who are most dependent on their smartphones are also the most likely to have their service cut off, according to a recent study. Minorities and young people are particularly reliant on their mobile devices and have less access to traditional broadband services than older Caucasians. Lower income smartphone owners are also more likely to use their phones to search for things like a job or housing opportunity — according to the study, 18 percent of smartphone dependents have used their phones to submit a job application.

Lower-income Americans are becoming increasingly reliant on their smart phones for basic Internet access while either abandoning — or not being able to afford — broadband service at their homes, according to a new study.

Households with an income of less than $75,000 a year appear to be more cautious of their data use — the study shows that only 35 percent of households with income between $30,000 and $75,000 reach or exceed their monthly data limit. That percentage shrinks to 32 percent for households with an annual income of less than $30,000. Conversely, households with an income of more than $75,000 per year reach or exceed their monthly data usage 43 percent of the time, according to the study.

The study, conducted by the Pew Research Center, found that 10 percent of Americans are “smartphone dependent,” meaning they own a smartphone and have no other access to the Internet at home beyond their data plan.

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