The rise of mobile computing devices has been well-trodden ground in the media for the last few years, but researchers are crunching new data to quantify the growth and adoption of cell phones, computers and other devices.
Cell phones lead the pack. Pew Internet and American Life Project found that some 85 percent of U.S. citizens now own a cell phone. Almost all of Americans aged 18-29 (96 percent) own a handset and use it to make voice calls, send text messages, surf the Web and use Internet applications.
Pew, which surveyed 3,001 American adults between Aug. 9 and Sept. 13, found that computers were the No. 2 gadget, with 76 percent of Americans owning a desktop or laptop. While that number would no doubt seem low to those working in the computing industry, Pew research specialist Aaron Smith said laptop ownership alone has grown from 30 percent in 2006 to 52 percent in 2010, as ownership of desktop machines declines.
So the proliferation of laptops triggered a decline in desktops, but what machines will precipitate a drop in laptops? Tablet computers, of course.
It's early days yet for tablets such as Apple's iPad and the emerging Samsung Galaxy Tab and tablet devices based on Google's Android operating system from Archos, LG and Dell, among others.
As these devices gain traction among consumers -- ABI Research anticipates 11 million tablets shipped by year's end -- businesses will have to adapt and begin ordering tablets for their employees. At the least, IT managers may be tasked with providing enterprise-grade security for employees who buy their own tablet and want to use it for work.
For more, read the eWeek article Mobile Phone is No. 1 U.S. Gadget, Pew Says.