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Black Friday, Cyber Monday Show Reach Of Mobile Broadband

November 30, 2017

Americans celebrated Cyber Monday earlier this week and, by all accounts, this “holiday” is quickly becoming as popular, or more so, than Black Friday. As CNET reports, this year consumers spent nearly $6.59 billion online on Cyber Monday, 16.8 percent more than they spent on the same day in 2016. (Black Friday was pretty popular day for online sales as well, rising 17 percent from 2016.) 

The most interesting statistic from this year’s season isn’t the significant increase in overall Cyber Monday sales—it’s that $1.59 billion, or nearly 25 percent—of Cyber Monday sales were purchased by consumers using mobile phones. Mobile sales were up 39 percent over Cyber Monday 2016. Consumers were about twice as likely to use their phones as tablets for their mobile sales.

Private sector investment in wireless broadband has made the smartphone nearly ubiquitous.

According to Pew Research Center, more than three-quarters of Americans own a smartphone, up from 35 percent just six years ago. More than 50 percent of younger adults live in a home that has at least three smartphones. (Pew also has reported that 51 percent of Americans use their smartphones to shop.) According to US Telecom more than 99 percent have access to wireless service, so these figures are likely to rise even more in coming years.

While rising retail sales are good news for the economy, the best news in all of this is that mobile is bringing more Americans online. The Long Beach, Calif. Press Telegram recently reported that mobile broadband has helped ease the digital divide. In an infographic showing 87 percent of Californians have opted to subscribe to wireless or wireline service at home, the newspaper noted, “The hugely popular smartphone is capable of accomplishing an amazing array of tasks and is generally more affordable than a larger computer and broadband subscription.”