According to some new survey data released over the weekend by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 56 percent of all mobile phone owners in the US access the internet. In addition, Pew says that 85 percent of all US adults now own a mobile phone.
There are approximately 250 million US adults today. If 85 percent own a mobile phone that would make 212 million mobile phone-owning adults in the US. There are roughly 26 million teens in the US and 75 percent of them own mobile phones according to Pew. That would make an addressable mobile population of roughly 230 million (not counting those under 13) people in the US. By comparison, the mobile industry trade association CTIA says there are 321 million “wireless subscriber connections,” which exceeds the total population of the US and suggests a fair number of two-phone owners.
The actual number of mobile phone subscribers is probably somewhat larger than the 230 million above but also quite a bit less than the 321 million claimed by CTIA.
In this particular study Pew did not segment out smartphone users. Previously it has said that 53 percent of mobile phone owners have smartphones. Nielsen says the number is 55 percent, while comScore puts smartphone ownership at 51 percent penetration.
All of the numbers reflected above would be higher if smartphone usage was separately reported. The Pew demographic segmentation data show that all of the above activities are more likely the more affluent the mobile user is (income still also correlates with smartphone ownership). According to Pew data 68 percent of those with incomes of $75,000 or more have smartphones today.
Below is a comparison of the penetration of mobile activities in 2010 and today according to Pew survey data.