Mobile Phones Are the Most Popular Gadgets for Americans


Americans are about 50% more likely to own a mobile phone than either a laptop or desktop computer, making handsets easily the most commonly used gadget in the U.S., Pew Research Center said in a report released today.

About 85% of American adults have a cell phone, compared to 59% for desktop computers and 52% for laptop computers, the research firm said, citing its poll of about 3,000 adults in August and September. About 45% of adults own either an MP3 player or videogame console, according to the poll.

Mobile phones are almost universally owned among younger adults, as smartphones such as Apple Inc.'s (APPL) iPhone and handsets based on Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Android platform can accomplish many of the same tasks as laptops and desktop computers. Additionally, laptop ownership has gradually increased in the past year and a half, while desktop ownership has been on a steady decline.

"In recent years the digital world has expanded far beyond the desktop, and consumers can now choose from an array of devices capable of satisfying their need for 'anytime, anywhere' access to news, information, friends and entertainment," Pew Research wrote in the report.

Among newer technologies, about 5% of U.S. adults own e-book readers, while 4% of adults tablet computers, according to Pew Research.