More than half of Americans—56%—report having used wireless means to gain online access, according to a Pew Research report that examines how Americans are accessing the Internet by wireless means using a range of devices—laptops, handheld devices (including cell phones and smartphones), gaming consoles, and e-book readers.

Conducted by the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project, an April 2009 survey asked US respondents whether they had used a variety of devices. Wireless access via laptop and mobile devices account for most US wireless access, as 51% of Americans have gotten online using either of these two methods:

  • 39% say they have used a laptop computer to go online wirelessly—the most prevalent means of wireless access.
  • 32% say they have gotten online with a mobile device—a cell phone or other handheld device—to check email, access the Internet for information, or send instant messages.
  • Some 19% of Americans say they have used laptops as well as handheld device for online access.

Use of the Internet on mobile devices has grown sharply from the end of 2007 to the beginning of 2009.

  • In December 2007, 24% of Americans said they had accessed the Internet via their mobile device; by April 2009, 32% of Americans said so.
  • In December 2007, 11% of Americans said they had "yesterday" accessed the Internet on their mobile; by April 2009, 19% of Americans said so.

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