More than half of Americans now own a smartphone
In a milestone benchmark for the device, a new study finds that a majority of Americans now own a smartphone of some kind.
The Pew Center for Internet and American Life finds that 56 percent of Americans are now smartphone adaptors. That is up from 35 percent in May of 2011 and 46 percent in February 2012. Thirty-five percent use some other kind of cell phone, down from 48 percent two years ago and 41 percent in February 2012.
Every major demographic group experienced “significant” year-to-year growth in smartphone ownership between 2012 and 2013, even seniors ages 65 and older, who are generally the slowest to adapt to new technology. Eighteen percent of seniors now own a smartphone, up from 13 percent in February 2012.
Not surprisingly, smartphone ownership is highest amongst Millennials and younger Gen Xers. Eighty-one percent of those ages 25-34 own a smartphone, as do more than three-fourths (79 percent) of those between the ages of 18-24 and 69 percent of 35-44 year-olds.
Ownership of smartphone increases with education (from 36 percent of those with less than a high school education to 70 percent of those with a college degree) and household income. Smartphone ownership is highest among blacks (64 percent), followed by Hispanics (64 percent) and whites (53 percent).
The percentage of cell phone owners who say they own either an iPhone or an Android device has risen dramatically since 2011, Pew finds. Android owners now represent more than one-fourth (28 percent) of all cell owners (up from 15 percent in May 2011), while iPhone owners now represent 25 percent of the cell owner population (up from 10 percent two years ago). Meanwhile, Blackberry ownership continues its downward trend from 10 percent two years ago to just 4 percent in the new survey.
Younger, lower-income smartphone owners tend to be Android users, while Apple customers tend to be older and more affluent, the report finds.
The Pew survey was conducted among a sample of 2,252 adults ages 18 and older.
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.