Pew: Smartphone Ownership Crosses Symbolic 50 Percent Threshold In US

With several qualifications and caveats, The Pew Internet Project released some new survey data (n=2,253) this morning that indicates 53 percent of US mobile phone owners now have smartphones. This is higher than the most recent Nielsen number (48 percent) and quite a bit higher than the last-published comScore figure (42 percent).

Pew says that some of its survey respondents reported having a “smartphone” while some reported that their phones run on a smartphone OS:

  • 20% of cell owners now describe their phone as an Android device, up from 15% in May 2011
  • 19% of cell owners now describe their phone as an iPhone, up from 10% in May 2011
  • 6% of cell owners now describe the phone as a Blackberry, down from 10% in May 2011
  • The proportion of cell owners describing their phone as a Windows (2%) or Palm (1%) device is unchanged since the last time we asked this question in May 2011

Totaling up the figures in the above list we get 48 percent smartphone OS penetration. Pew said, however, that piecing together the various responses indicates that 53 percent of survey respondents have smartphones.

Perhaps the most significant finding is that every major demographic group “experienced a notable uptick in smartphone penetration over the last year.” Pew added that among several groups (i.e., college graduates, 18-35 year olds and $75,000+ earners) smartphone ownership has crossed 60 percent.

Related Topics: Channel: Strategy | Mobile Marketing | Statistics: Mobile Marketing | Top News

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About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

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  • http://twitter.com/BGaglini_SMC Bobby Gaglini

    What in the hell is all this spam crap doing here? At any rate, I guess I’m taking that leap into the minority of people that don’t have a Smartphone. The simple truth is that I don’t need one (yet). My take is that many of the people who are now adapting to this technology are doing so without truly understanding the benefit or necessity of owning a smartphone. In most cases the only benefit comes from personal distraction and the ability to block out the world around you.

    That being said, it’s the same way for all technology. I’m sure the radio curmudgeon was reluctant to start watching television…

  • http://twitter.com/gsterling Greg Sterling

    I think you’re well outside the mainstream on this one. People don’t “need” smartphones but once them adopt them it’s very difficult to imagine life w/o them. 

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