Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!
Expand chart
Data: SurveyMonkey online poll conducted Nov. 27–29 among 3,040 U.S. adults who use smartphones. Total margin of error is ±2.5 percentage points; Poll methodology; Chart: Harry Stevens/Axios

Nearly 8 out of 10 smartphone users in the U.S. use their phones to access the internet at home more than or as much as a computer, according to an Axios/SurveyMonkey poll.

Why it matters: It's a sign of how much people's online habits have evolved, as smartphones and smart TVs are becoming the primary gateway to internet at home compared to desktops and tablets. More than twice as many people said they use smartphones more often than computers to connect with the internet, compared to those who use computers more often.

Between the lines: The survey didn't examine whether people use smart TVs to access the internet more often, but given that more than half of U.S. households have smart TVs that stream content from the internet, it's likely that they are also serving as primary vehicles for accessing the internet at home.

By the numbers:

  • The convenience factor: The overwhelming majority (80%) of those who use their smartphones more often say they do so because it is more convenient, compared to just 4% that say they do so because it's cheaper or 12% that say they do so because they don't have access to a computer.
  • The practical factor: More than 7 out of 10 say they can do all or most of what they want to do online on a smartphone.
  • The ease factor: About one-quarter (24%) of respondents who do not have broadband at home (which represents about 13% of U.S. households) say the primary reason they do not use home broadband is that their mobile device lets them do everything online they would do with fixed broadband.
  • The cost factor: Roughly one-fifth (20%) say it's because the monthly cost of home broadband service is too expensive.

The bottom line: Americans are becoming more dependent on smartphones and mobile data to access the internet. PwC estimates that mobile data consumption will surpass fixed broadband for the first time this year.

Methodology: This analysis is based on a SurveyMonkey online poll conducted among adults ages 18 and older in the United States. Respondents were selected from the more than 2 million people who take surveys on the SurveyMonkey platform each day. Data have been weighted for age, race, sex, education and geography using the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to reflect the demographic composition of the United States age 18 and over.

The survey was conducted Nov. 27–29 among 3,308 adults. The modeled error estimate for the full sample is ±2.5 percentage points and full crosstabs are available here.

Go deeper

GOP implosion: Trump threats, payback

Spotted last week on a work van in Evansville, Ind. Photo: Sam Owens/The Evansville Courier & Press via Reuters

The GOP is getting torn apart by a spreading revolt against party leaders for failing to stand up for former President Trump and punish his critics.

Why it matters: Republican leaders suffered a nightmarish two months in Washington. Outside the nation’s capital, it's even worse.

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

The limits of Biden's plan to cancel student debt

Data: New York Fed Consumer Credit Panel/Equifax; Chart: Axios Visuals

There’s a growing consensus among Americans who want President Biden to cancel student debt — but addressing the ballooning debt burden is much more complicated than it seems.

Why it matters: Student debt is stopping millions of Americans from buying homes, buying cars and starting families. And the crisis is rapidly getting worse.

Why made-for-TV moments matter during the pandemic

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Erin Schaff-Pool, Biden Inaugural Committee via Getty Images

In a world where most Americans are isolated and forced to laugh, cry and mourn without friends or family by their side, viral moments can offer critical opportunities to unite the country or divide it.

Driving the news: President Biden's inauguration was produced to create several made-for-social viral moments, a tactic similar to what the Democratic National Committee and the Biden campaign pulled off during the Democratic National Convention.