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Ring the Bells: More Smartphones in Students’ Hands Ahead of Back-to-School Season
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Ring the Bells: More Smartphones in Students’ Hands Ahead of Back-to-School Season

As summer vacations drew to a close and as students headed back to school, more than one out of nine mobile subscribers replaced or upgraded their handsets (11%) during Q3 2013, and nearly fourth-fifths chose smartphones. For those keeping track of the U.S. smartphone market, the Q3 increase brings smartphone penetration to 64.7 percent, up from 62 percent in Q2. Smartphone ownership also continued to grow among students and recent grads, as 70 percent of teens (aged 13-17) and 79 percent of young adults (aged 18-24) now own smartphones.

With more smartphone owners upgrading their existing handsets, the OS market is becoming more established: nine out of 10 smartphone owners use Android and iPhone (iOS) handsets Between July and September, Android remained the leading smartphone OS, with 52 percent of smartphone owners using those handsets. Meanwhile, Apple expanded its share of the U.S. smartphone market by an additional percentage point, ahead of releasing two new iPhones.

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As the smartphone market matures in the U.S., adoption is reaching the late majority phase, and consumers in this group may be more reluctant to replace their feature phones. Device brands may want to shift their marketing muscle to appeal to this new audience, while working to not alienate their existing bases of smartphone owners.

Apple remained the top smartphone manufacturer in the U.S. during Q3 2013, while Samsung expanded its market share nearly 2 percentage points. BlackBerry’s market share continues to decline among smartphone owners, while both Nokia and HTC slightly increased their market shares with Windows Phone handsets.

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