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Mobile Fast Becoming Americans' Window to the Internet, and Android's Growing Fastest

Mobile phones are fast becoming America's primary device for accessing the Internet, and Android is quickly gaining a big chunk of overall smartphone sales.

A New York Times technology blog this morning highlighted statistics from Pew Research Center showing that 85 percent of Americans age 18 and older, and 96 percent of U.S. adults between the age of 18 and 29 own a mobile phone.

Talk about figuring out where Gen Y lives.

Overall ownership of seven types of electronic devices as determined by Pew had mobile phones well in the lead, with desktop computers owned by 59 percent of adults and 52 percent saying they had a laptop computer. Further, mp3 players and game consoles showed up as popular devices for accessing the internet, with the relatively new demographic of e-book readers and tablet computers coming in as an option for accessing the web at five percent and four percent, respectively.

Within the realm of smartphones, an infographic released over the weekend by technology blog GigaOM showed significant growth in Android adoption between the second quarter of 2009 and the second quarter of 2010. While iOS has gained four percent of smartphone market share in that time period, Android has added 16 percent, thanks largely to its availability in multiple handsets with multiple providers globally. Other smartphone platforms including those of Symbian, RIM, Microsoft and Linux have all lost some market share in that same period of time.

View the GigaOM infographic here.

But what does it mean for banks and financial institutions?

Likely the answer is that there is an ongoing shift toward mobile technology among American consumers. And it's something that's growing steadily with the constant release of new devices.

The data also shows that perhaps it would be wise to continue improving and promoting mobile online banking services, sms banking and downloadable mobile apps, where available.

While it seems there's an announcement for a new iOS app each week, there doesn't appear to be as much focus on the Android platform. But if more people are adopting Google's mobile OS, perhaps it's time to focus app development there as much as on Apple's iOS.

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