Internet use on smartphones surpasses use on PCs for 1st time in Japan

More people accessed the internet from smartphones than from personal computers in 2017 for the first time in Japan, a government survey shows.

According to the survey conducted by the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry, 54.2 percent of respondents said they used the internet on smartphones, followed by 48.7 percent on PCs and 18.7% on tablets, in responding to a question allowing them to give names of multiple devices.

By age group, 87.8 percent of respondents in their 20s used smartphones to access the internet, in contrast to 37.2 percent of those in their 60s. Among people in their 60s or older, more used PCs than smartphones to access the internet.

The diffusion rate of smartphones came to 75.1 percent of households last year, outnumbering that for PCs, at 72.5 percent, also for the first time.

The survey also showed that 68.3 percent of respondents had anxieties about internet use, such as possible leakage of private information and browsing history, and computer virus infection.

Among corporate users, 56.9 percent used a cloud service to store or share data. It was also the first time a majority of companies in Japan said they had used such service.

The annual survey was conducted by mail from November to December on about 40,000 households and some 7,000 companies nationwide. The response rate was about 40 percent with both.

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