More American Adults Now Own Smartphones Than Other Cell Phones, and Other Stats

Not even a year ago, in May 2011, Pew found that 35% of Americans had smartphones; in February, after conducting the same study again, that number is up to 46%. Thus, almost half of all cell phone-owning American adults now have a smartphone.

What is perhaps more significant is that for the first time, there are more smartphone users (48%) than users of other types of cell phones (41%). The other major finding is that the percentage of adults without any cell phone dipped from 17% in May 2011 to 12% in February 2012.

As expected, the percentage of younger adults with smartphones is still far higher than that of older adults, although the 45-54 and 55-64 age groups saw a big uptick in adoption. The former shot up from 28% to 44%, and the latter climbed to 31% form 22%. Among those 65 and older, however, growth was somewhat stagnant, going form 11% to just 13%.

There’s a little wild card to consider, though: Pew noted that if a surveyed person said that their phone was a smartphone, it counted as owning a smartphone. One can’t help but wonder how many people just answered in the affirmative without having any idea what they were talking about--maybe the same number of people who call any Android-based phone a “Droid”. (You’ve had that conversation before: “Do you have an iPhone?” “No, I have a Droid”.)

Pew did note that such confusion has dwindled, from 14% who were unsure in May down to 8% in the most recent survey.

In any case, the results of the survey seem to indicate that a smartphone is an increasingly indispensable possession for more and more adults, regardless of income level, education, ethnicity, or gender.
Via:  Pew Internet
sackyhack 2 years ago

I made the switch just a year ago. Went from a LG clamshell whose only significant feature was a 1 megapixel camera to an iPhone. It felt like I was coming out of the Stone age into Futurama.

detnight 2 years ago

I still use a bag phone because it looks so cool. My problem is I Hate to make a monthly payments. I did not get text added to phone till late last year and that was because everyone kept sending me texts and it was starting to cost more not have it.

AKwyn 2 years ago

Not surprising, everyday more and more people are buying cellphones. Unfortunately I'm still a part of a minority; a minority that'll shrink to 5% come next year; maybe I do need to get with the times...

Kiristo 2 years ago

I have a $10 TracFone...that's how often I use a phone. It suits my needs and I don't have to make any monthly payments or worry about minutes expiring (at least not for a long time). Smart phones are pretty cool, but I have a kickass computer at home, and work on them all day, I really don't need to carry one around in my pocket all day just to use it whilst in transit between real computers.

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