On Campus: UW Students Dropping Cell Phones In Favor Of Smartphones

Ann McClure's picture

Mobile computing has gone viral at UW-Madison while regular cell phones are going the way of the land line, according to the university's 2012 Student Computing Survey.

Two-thirds of respondents said they owned an Internet-ready handheld device such as a smartphone, iPhone, Blackberry, Palm, Android or iPod Touch, up from 56 percent in 2011 and 45 percent in 2010. About a third reported using a simple cell phone, down from 49 percent in 2011 and 62 percent in 2010.

And almost all students (97 percent of respondents) own a laptop while 36 percent own a desktop computer, down from 45 percent in 2011. A quarter of students use a tablet computer such as the iPad, Kindle or Nook, compared to 11 percent in 2011.

The survey found students are relying more heavily on Web-based technologies available with their devices — 70 percent use location-based social media services, up from 60 percent a year ago. They also want more features for the university's iPhone and Android app Mobile UW, such as more administrative services, mobile access to course and enrollment functions, cash management and payment options and library services.

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