As mobile manufacturers announce new phones in advance of the holidays, Nielsen took a snapshot look at the mobile market in the U.S. Smartphone penetration continued to grow in July 2012, with 55.5 percent of mobile subscribers in the U.S. now owning smartphones. This is a significant increase compared to July 2011 when only 41 percent of mobile subscribers owned smartphones.
Overall, young adults are leading the growth in smartphone ownership in the U.S., with 74 percent of 25-34 year olds now owning smartphones, up from 59 percent in July 2011. Interestingly, teenagers between 13 and 17 years old demonstrated the most dramatic increases in smartphone adoption, with the majority of American teens (58%) owning a smartphone, compared to roughly a third (36%) of teens saying they owned a smartphone just a year ago.
“Among most age groups smartphones represent the majority of U.S. mobile subscribers, but American teens were the age group adopting smartphones the fastest,” Nichole Henderson, a Nielsen analyst, said. “As teens increase in their share of smartphone owners, mobile carriers and manufacturers should consider how to market to this growing group.”
Android handsets continue to lead the smartphone market, with both a majority of smartphone owners and recent acquirers (those who obtained their handset in the last 3 months) now owning a phone that runs on the Android operating system. Apple’s iPhone followed closely with a share of 34 percent of smartphone owners and 33 percent of recent acquirers choosing an iOS handset. BlackBerry handsets decreased to an 8 percent share of the U.S. smartphone market and only 3 percent of recent acquirers.
Nielsen’s monthly survey of 20,000+ mobile subscribers aged 13+ in the U.S. Mobile owners are asked to identify their primary mobile handset by manufacturer and model, which are modeled to be demographically representative of mobile subscribers in the U.S. Recent Acquirers are defined as consumers who obtained their handset within the last three months.
Some prior posts included insights looking only at adults aged 18+, which should not be compared or trended with this current report.