According to a recent study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, 25% of smartphone users employ the device as their primary means to gain access to Internet resources (web, email, Facebook, etc.).
I call that the “untethered lifestyle.”
I remember living in Europe in the mid-90s and a lot of people opted out of having a telephone and just had a cell phone. It was easier. Landline provisioning was a pain and expensive. And if you weren’t home a lot to use it, what was the point?
That mentality, I believe, is carrying over to the U.S. I know a lot of people even my age who are ditching their landline phones in favor of cell phones. Some, on the geekier side, have opted for a Google number that rings multiple cell phones (or an office line as well).
So it’s not surprising to see this “unthethered” lifestyle extending to data access as well. And I think we will see more as the likes of 4G and LTE services offer extremely high-speed wireless bandwidth. Furthermore, there has been a lot of correlation data to show that smartphone users are often more apt to purchase tablets as well. With a single account covering all of my untethered devices, I can have rich, glorious internet (and phone) access from anywhere I want. And even if I do have a computer at home, why can’t I enable my smartphone as a wifi hotspot and get access that way? With cloud-based synchronization services, I am sure that my data is always the same across anything that I am carrying.
I believe that what the Pew is uncovering is a growing trend towards this “untethering” which relates to being “always on.”
Image courtesy of mylifeuntethered.com.
Originally posted 2011-07-11 12:35:23.