Channel Insider content and product recommendations are editorially independent. We may make money when you click on links to our partners. Learn More.

A report from Pew Research found as of May 2010, 59 percent of all adult Americans go online wirelessly, via a smartphone or on a notebook using a mobile broadband card. Roughly half of all adults (47 percent) use a notebook go online in this way, up from the 39 percent who did so at a similar point in 2009, while 40 percent of Americans do at least one of the following activities—Internet usage, emailing or instant messaging–using a mobile device, an increase from the 32 percent of adults who did so in 2009.

The report also found mobile data applications with the largest year-to-year increases among the 30-to-49 year old cohort include taking pictures (83 percent of 30-to-49 year old cell owners now do this, a 12-point increase from 2009), recording videos (39 percent do this now, an 18-point increase from 2009), playing music (36 percent do this now, a 15-point increase), using instant messaging (35 percent now do this, a 14-point increase) and accessing the Internet (43 percent now do this, a 12-point increase compared with 2009).

Pew also asked a series of questions further identifying mobile application usage, finding 11 percent have purchased a product using their phone. The report follows a study by Forrester Research, released in late June, which found consumers’ increasing appetite for mobile applications is driving online retailers to speed up their mobile marketing initiatives. That study, produced in partnership with, the National Retail Federation’s digital division, found nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of online retailers either already have or are developing a mobile strategy. The report also found one in five boasts having a fully implemented mobile strategy in place already.

The Pew Research report also found while mobile phone ownership has remained stable over the last year, users are taking advantage of a much wider range of their phones’ capabilities compared with a similar point in 2009. Of the eight mobile data applications the firm asked about in both 2009 and 2010, all showed “statistically significant” year-to-year growth. Young adults are heavily invested in the mobile Web, the report found, with nearly 90 percent surveyed in possession of a mobile phone. “These young cell owners are significantly more likely than those in other age groups to engage in all of the mobile data applications we asked about in our survey,” the report noted.