The majority of 25–34 and 18–24 year olds in the U.S. now own smartphones (64% and 53% respectively) and they continue to lead smartphone penetration compared to other age groups.
Overall 44% of U.S. mobile subscribers now own a smartphone device, compared to 18 percent just two years ago and over half of them (51%) are women.
These findings come from Nielsen's latest monthly survey of 25,000 mobile consumers which sheds light on how individuals interact with their phones.
It also reveals that the number of smartphone subscribers using the mobile Internet has grown 45 percent since 2010 and the majority of smartphone owners (62%) have downloaded apps on their devices with games being the top application category.
Although Apple is the top smartphone manufacturer in the US with 28.6 of the smartphone market, Android is the most favored operating system, with a share of 44% and Nielsen has done an analysis by age of the types of apps used on Android devices.
(Click to view chart)
Perhaps surprisingly the highest use of the Android Market is among 35-44 year olds. This might be explained that more of them are new users given that it is the 18-34 age group that adopted smartphones quickest.
Facebook is the most used app irrespective of age with users aged 25-34 narrowly exceeding its use by the other two groups. Three Google apps (Gmail, Google Search and Google Maps take the next three places with between 70% and 80% usage and YouTube is in the fifth slot used by 64% of 18-24s, 56% of 25-34s and 51% of 35-34s.
Beyond this while the same apps are in all three their popularity varies according to age. Angry Birds is used by more in the oldest group and Pandora Radio is less well used by this group. Although The Weather Channel is placed last in the list for this group it is used by a similar percentage of users (17%) in both the younger groups.
Perhaps the most interesting conclusion from the chart is that there is so little difference between the popularity of apps across the three groups in the age range 18-44.
Nielsen State of the Media: Mobile Media Report Q3 2011
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