Nearly 60 Percent of US Mobile Phone Market Now Operating Smartphones

Mobile phones are everywhere these days, that's hardly surprising news. But what's interesting about this is that the majority of Americans now own smartphone devices, according to Pew Rsearch Center's Internet and American Life Project. It's the first time smartphones have been in the hands of the majority since Pew Research Center began systematically tracking smartphone adoption.

The finding is based on a survey of 2,252 adults who are at least 18 years old. Among them, 55 percent of cell phone owners indicated they own a smartphone, and 58 percent said that their phone operates on a smartphone platform common to the U.S. market (iOS, Android, BlackBerry, or Windows Phone).

Pew Smartphone Graph
Source: Pew Research Center

"Taken together, 61 percent of cell owners said yes to at least one of these questions and are classified as smartphone owners," Pew Research Center said. "Because 91 percent of the adult population now owns some kind of cell phone, that means that 56 percent of all American adults are now smartphone adopters. One third (35 percent) have some other kind of cell phone that is not a smartphone, and the remaining 9 percent of Americans do not own a cell phone at all."

Smartphone adoption is rapidly climbing. While 56 percent of Americans own a smartphone today, that figure was 46 percent only a year ago, and just 35 percent in 2011.


The biggest winner in all this is Android and the handset makers who build devices around Google's open source platform. Keeping in mind that Pew Research Center's sample size isn't exactly ginormous, the survey revealed that 28 percent of cell phone owners run Android, which is just high enough to edge out iPhone owners at 25 percent. BlackBerry and Windows Phone account 4 percent and 1 percent, respectively.