April 1, 2015 Last Updated 9:38 am

Pew report on smartphone usage shows that news consumption cuts across age groups

While the elderly are less likely to use their mobile device for such things as navigation, the report found that 42 percent say they follow breaking news on their digital device

The Pew Research Center, in association with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, today released a report on smartphone usage today. The report, found here, contains a wealth of valuable information for those interested in mobile phone usage and mobile media consumption habits.

I’d like to focus on news consumption. The Pew report found that news consumption cuts across all age groups surveyed. Yes, those over the age of 65 are least likely to use their smartphones to consume news, but the percentage is far greater than for other activities Pew surveyed.

PI_2015-04-01_smartphones_16-lgFor instance, while Pew found that only 37 percent of those over 65 used their device for turn-by-turn navigation (as compared to 80 percent of those 18 to 29), it found that 42 percent of those over 65 follow breaking news with their smartphone (as compared to 72 percent of those 18 to 29).

One of the findings that the media will likely grasp hold of is that 10 percent of those surveyed who own a smartphone do not have broadband in their homes, making them dependent on their devices for faster Internet access. This shouldn’t surprise, for many low income Americans, their recently purchased smartphone is the first time they have had access to a speedy connection – it is, in fact, part of the sales pitch justifying the data charges.

Again, I suggest readers bookmark this Pew report, it may well come in handy.

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