Smartphone Ownership Among 18-44 Year Olds Becomes the Norm

Most mobile phone owners in the U.S. between 18-44 years of age now own a smartphone. And for those between the ages of 25-34, that number is nearly two-thirds. This represents a significant change in the split between smartphones and feature phones from just a year ago.

The third quarter of 2011 saw 62% of mobile phone owning adults in the U.S. between the ages of 25-34 having smartphones according to data released by Nielsen. This is up from 41% only a year ago. For those mobile phone owners just a bit younger, between 18-24 years old, the number was 54%, up from 35% just a year ago. At nearly the identical rate, the 35-44 year olds are at 53% this year, up from 35% last year.

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Even the groups on the ends of the age spectrum have been showing increases in smartphone ownership. With 38% of the youngsters between the ages of 12-17 having smartphones (up from 24%) and 18% of the elders over the age of 65 (up from 12%) possessing these powerful mobile devices.

On average, this means that 43% of all mobile phone owners have a smartphone. Nielsen’s data also show that Android is the most popular operating system for smartphones with 43% penetration, but that Apple is the top smartphone manufacturer, with 28% of the market.

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