Smartphones are owned by 46 percent of American adults, says the Pew Research Center. The fastest-growing segment is 18- to 24-year-olds, and iPhones are the most purchased.
continues to rise, especially among younger consumers and business users, says
a March 1 report from the Pew Internet &
American Life Project
. The fastest-growing group of smartphone addicts was
18- to 24-year-olds, though it's 25- to 34-year-olds who continue to own the
However, Americans who are
over the age of 65 are still shying away from these devices, although the Pew
report found some modest growth in ownership.
As of February, 46 percent
of American adults owned smartphonesan 11 percent rise from the 35 percent of
Americans with smartphones in May 2011. Among all American adults, two in five
own a mobile phone that's not a smartphone. Or so they say. Knowing what kind
of phone one owns isn't crystal clear to everyone, but most folks are getting
better at itonly 8 percent of cell phone owners are now unsure about whether
their phone is a smartphone, compared with 14 percent a year ago.
Consequently, Pew qualifies
its results by adding that is what cell owners "say
Still, what they're saying is
that they're buying phones, particularly iPhones. While Android phones
dominate, the percent of iPhone users during the survey periods rose by 90
percent, from 10 percent to 19 percent of Americans. Android phone ownership,
meanwhile, rose by 30 percent, from being in the hands of 15 percent of
Americans in May 2011 to 20 percent in February 2012.
meanwhile, fell from 10 percent to 6 percent of phone owners during the same
period. The number of phone owners with Windows and Palm devices held steady,
at 1 percenta statistic no doubt ready to change, with Nokia's introduction of
new Windows Phone devices.
In 2011, vendors shipped 488
million smartphones, according to research firm Canalys
Who's buying them?
"Nearly every major
demographic groupmen and women, younger and middle-aged adults, urban and
rural residents, the wealthy and the less well-offexperienced a notable uptick
in smartphone penetration over the last year," reports Pew. Overall
adoption levels, it added, are at "60 percent or more within several
cohorts, such as college graduates, 18 to 35 year olds and those with an annual
household income of $75,000 or more."
The most modest growth,
rising from 11 percent to 13 percent, was among Americans over the age of 65generally
not a group highly targeted by smartphone marketers, in their defense.
Pew says that somewhat
modest growth, a rise of 5 points, was also seen among Hispanics and Blacks,
but both groups were ahead to begin with, and remain ahead.
While 30 percent of Whites
owned a smartphone in May 2011, 44 percent of Blacks and 44 percent of
Hispanics already did. In February 2012, the number of Whites who own
smartphones jumped 15 points, to 45 percentwhich still has them behind the 49
percent of Blacks and 49 percent of Hispanics with smartphones.
During the survey period,
smartphone ownership also grew more quickly in rural and urban geographies,
than suburban. Though as of February, 50 percent of Americans in urban areas
had smartphones, compared with 46 percent in suburban areas and 34 percent in
Young adults18- to
24-year-oldswere the most drastically growing group during the period, jumping
18 points, for a total of 67 percent now owning smartphones, up from 49
percent. However, across all demographic points, the most smartphones71
percentare owned by 25- to 34-year-olds, who likewise led in May 2011, when 58
percent owned smartphones.