Pew Shows Smartphones Now Majority in US

Posted by at 12:34 pm on March 1, 2012

More Americans now own smartphones than basic cellphones, Pew Internet deduced on Thursday. By looking at those who either said they had a smartphone or mentioned it using a smartphone platform, the study found that 53 percent of American cellphone owners had a smartphone as of February. With 88 percent of the entire adult American population using a cellphone, that translated to 46 percent of all adults owning a smartphone.

Researchers also gave a rare look into total user bases for smartphone platforms rather than just their market share. Apple and Google were nearly equal in total ownership: 19 percent owned an iPhone, and 20 percent used Android, Pew said. Perceptions that Android was growing faster also appeared to be false, as it had moved up five points since last May while Apple had almost doubled its real ownership share from the same point.

Other platforms were on the decline or stayed marginal. The BlackBerry was now down from being even with Apple, at 10 percent last May, to six percent now. Microsoft’s combined Windows Phone and Windows Mobile share was locked at two percent, and the combination of PalmOS and webOS was steady at one point.

Adoption was growing almost consistently across all groups. With the exception of those over 50, where growth was just slower, smartphone use was moving up regardless of education, ethnicity, income, and location.

The findings showed that smartphones were now defining the US mobile landscape. Although carriers and high-end users have been pushing smartphones first for some time, the data showed that the broader public had latched on to the concept.

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