Smartphone Ownership Among 18-44 Year Olds Becomes the Norm

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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.

Nielsen Chart

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.

Nielsen Chart



A couple of points:

57+43=100% Does that mean that NO ONE owns a plane old fashioned phone that is just a telephone? It makes me question the stats somewhat especially being that’s what I have.

The change is even more impressive if you go further back. In the early 2000’s it was common knowledge that ” Americans don’t buy Smart Phones”. Sure they had them in Japan, and businessman had BlackBerries but almost no man-on-the-street or high school kid or college student in the US had a phone that would do more than IM and talk. The change is almost entirely due to the iPhone (IMO).

I (at age 50) would love to get an iPhone. Right now I have a ‘dumb phone’ and an iPod touch. They do what I need. An iPhone would be great, my previous employer gave me one for work use and I loved it, but right now the cost is prohibitive. I’ll save up and buy one down the road. Maybe an iPhone 5. No rush for now.


My loudhailer continues to generate complaints but I?ll be damned if I?m going to perpetrate radio frequencies round my head with one of these twisted fangled devices.

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