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eMarketer Releases Updated Estimates for US Digital Users

More than eight in 10 internet users will use a mobile phone to access the web regularly in 2017

February 20, 2017

People who go online exclusively via desktop or laptop computers are becoming scarce in the US.

US Internet Users, by Device, 2015-2021 (millions)

According to eMarketer’s latest estimates, there will be just 17.9 million desktop/laptop-only internet users in the US this year, down from 20.3 million in 2016. And the number is expected to edge lower in the future.

“As smartphones and data plans become more affordable than ever, they are positioned to become the default device for internet access,” said Corey McNair, author of a new eMarketer report, “US Digital Users: The eMarketer Forecast for 2017,” (available only to eMarketer PRO subscribers). “The number of these mobile-only users will see steady growth over the next few years, reaching 52.3 million in 2021.”

The number of mobile-only users is on the rise, totaling 40.7 million this year, up from 36.6 million in 2016.

Over three-quarters of US internet users will access the internet via both a mobile device and PC in 2017, and there will be roughly 9 million new dual-device users throughout the forecast period.

In a new episode of “Behind the Numbers,” eMarketer’s podcast covering digital trends, forecasting analyst Monica Peart talks about the huge impact mobile internet use has had on some of the biggest digital companies. Listen in below, or subscribe to catch every episode.

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