Smartphones Outnumber Basic Cell Phones in US
Written by Janet Swift   
Friday, 02 March 2012

The latest figures from Pew Internet show that 46% of American adults are now smartphone owners and fewer of them are confused about whether or not their phones are indeed "smartphones".

The latest figures from Pew Internet show that 46% of American adults are now smartphone owners an increase of 11 percentage points over the 35% of Americans who owned a smartphone last May.

This figure is made up of

  • 45% of cell owners who say that their phone is a smartphone, up from 33% in May 2011
  • 49% of cell owners say that their phone operates on a smartphone platform up from 39% in May 2011

Taken together, just over half of cell owners (53%) said yes to one or both of these questions and are classified as smartphone owners. The survey of over 2250 adults aged 18 and older indicates that a total of 46% of  American adults are now smartphone users, while 41% own a cell phone that is not a smartphone, meaning that smartphone owners are now more prevalent within the overall population than owners of more basic mobile phones.



(click in chart to enlarge)


The survey also showed that there is still some confusion around the term "smartphone", with 8% of cell owners are still not sure if their phone is a smartphone. However, this is a significant decrease from the 14% of cell owners who were not sure if their phone was a smartphone or not in May 2011.

There has also been a shift in the specific types of phones that Americans report owning:

  • 20% of cell owners now describe their phone as an Android device, up from 15% in May 2011
  • 19% of cell owners now describe their phone as an iPhone, up from 10% in May 2011
  • 6% of cell owners now describe the phone as a Blackberry, down from 10% in May 2011

The proportion of cell owners describing their phone as a Windows (2%) or Palm (1%) device is unchanged since the last time we asked this question in May 2011.



More Information

Nearly half of American adults are smartphone owners

Related Articles

More data on Smartphone use

Mobile App Usage Greatest Among Young Adults


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