It's getting increasingly difficult to spot someone using a flip phone these days, and there's a good reason for that. According to Nielsen's
newest Digital Consumer Report, 65 percent of Americans now own a smartphone
. That's up quite a bit from 44 percent in 2011 and just 19 percent in 2009. Just as interesting is Nielsen's finding that smartphones are more commonly found among Americans than game consoles (46 percent), DVRs (49 percent), digital cable (54 percent), satellite service (31 percent), and tablets (29 percent).
Looking beyond smartphones, Americans are more connected and tech savvy than ever before, which is a relatively recent development thanks to the proliferation of Internet-enabled devices and broadband access.
"Content that was once only available to consumers via specific methods of delivery (such as via print, radio, and broadcast television) can now be sourced and delivered to consumers through their multiple connected devices," Nielsen says. "This is driving the media revolution and blurring traditional media definitions. To put it simply, today's consumer has a lot of digital devices."
Internet-connected devices affect various aspects of our everyday lives. For example, Nielsen says the ownership of mobile devices is revolutionizing the consumer shopping experience, Now that smartphones are so common, it's fairly typical for an American to research and compare prices on the go for goods and services.
Another interesting finding of Nielsen's research is that Hispanics appear ahead of the digital curve. Nearly three in four Latinos own smartphones (72 percent), which is well above the average in the U.S. and higher than any other demographic. Hispanics also spend more time watching video streamed from the Internet and gaming on consoles versus the total U.S. population.