Posted by: David | April 23, 2009

Cell Phones: Holding on as a ‘necessity’

The Pew Research Center says that while microwaves, home air conditioning and even television sets are dropping as “necessities” in the eyes of recession-scared (and scarred) Americans, almost half of Americans consider their cell phones a necessity, not a luxury.

Necessity nor not? 2009 vs 2006:

  • Home A/C — Necessity, yes: 54%, down 16 points
  • TV set — 52%, down 12 po9ints
  • Home computer — 50%, down 1 point
  • Cell phone — 49%, unchanged
  • Microwave — 47%, down 21 points (biggest loser)
  • High-speed Internet — 31%, up 2 points
  • Cable or satellite TV — 23%, down 10 points
  • Flat screen TV — 8%, up 3 points
  • iPod — 4%, up 1 point

Phone Generation Gap

From the report:

Currently 60% of adults under the age of 30 say a cell phone is a necessity, compared with 38% of those 65 years old or older. But this generation gap is not significantly larger today than it was three years ago; in fact, views on the need for a cell phone have not changed significantly among any age group since 2006.

An equally dramatic generation gap opens when Americans are asked whether landline telephone service — the familiar home phone — is a luxury or a necessity. But this gap runs in the opposite direction. More than eight-in-ten (84%) adults ages 65 and above say a landline phone is a necessity, while only 49% of those younger than 30 agree. And younger adults are nearly four times as likely as older adults to say an in-home phone is a luxury (51% vs. 14%).

Most Web Access via Mobile in 2020

That reminds of yet another Pew survey of Internet “experts” last December that concluded:

The mobile device will be the primary connection tool to the Internet for most people in the world in 2020.

I buy that.

See Future of the Internet III: How the Experts See It.

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