Insights

America’s New Mobile Majority: a Look at Smartphone Owners in the U.S.
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America’s New Mobile Majority: a Look at Smartphone Owners in the U.S.

In March 2012, a majority (50.4%) of U.S. mobile subscribers owned smartphones, up from 47.8 percent in December 2011. Consumers purchasing new phones picked smartphones more often, and among smartphone owners Apple was the top manufacturer of smartphone handsets, while Android was the top smartphone OS.

Smartphone Operating System Share

Smartphone OS Share of Smartphone Owners
Android OS 48.5%
iOS 32.0%
RIM Blackberry 11.6%
Windows Mobile 4.1%
Windows Phone 1.7%
Other 2.1%
Read as: During Q1 2012, 48 percent  of smartphone owners had a device that runs on the Android OS

Source: Nielsen, Mobile Insights, Q1 2012

Who makes up this growing group of smartphone owners in the U.S.? As of Q1 2012:

  • 50.9 percent of female mobile subscribers carried smartphones in March 2012, compared to 50.1 percent for men.
  • Looking at multiple smartphones are particularly popular among those ages 25 to 34: More than two out of three in this age group have a smartphone.
  • Asian Americans lead smartphone adoption with 67.3 percent using a smartphone as their primary mobile handset.
  • Almost three in five Hispanic mobile subscribers use smartphones, and a majority of African-Americans own smartphones

Smartphone owners by Ethnicity