TechCrunch reports that a recent Pew Internet research project survey shows that 51% of US adult cell phone users used their phones within the last month to retrieve information they needed right away. It also reports on some of the differences between usage of cell phones and smart phones, and on the percentage of users who do things like take photos, send e-mail, play games, and so forth with the devices. (And 13% of respondents admitted to faking a phone call to avoid talking to someone physically present!)

It is interesting to see smart phones being used as the primary in-a-hurry information appliances of choice of a number of people. But one of the questions sadly lacking from the survey, which I would like to have seen compared to all the other statistics, is how many people read e-books with them.


  1. The survey did say 42% of cell owners used their phone for entertainment when they were bored. How much of that was ebook reading was not indicated. But clearly the survey wasn’t about ebook reading, it was about smartphone usage in emergencies, spur-of-the-moments and downtimes. Regarding the data that 51% of users used cellphones for information they needed right away: DUH. That’s what they’re FOR. That’s why we buy them and take them with us. Otherwise, we’d be better off with a world of pay phones.

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