Smartphone Usage Surpasses 50% In The US Despite Slowing Trends
May 9, 2012

Smartphone Usage Surpasses 50% In The US Despite Slowing Trends

A study on cellphone use released Monday shows that little more than half of all Americans use smartphones, rather than ordinary cell phones, a slight increase from a similar report released in December 2011.

The new Nielsen report shows that 50.4 percent of Americans now use smartphones. This marks the first time that smartphones have outperformed feature “dumb” phones since Nielsen began tracking them several years ago.

The report further found that 50.9 percent of women have adopted smartphones, slightly more than the 50.1 percent of men who have done so. Asians are more likely to have smartphones than ordinary cellphones (67.3%); Hispanics are at 57.3 percent smartphone ownership; African Americans 54.5 percent; and surprisingly, whites are in last with 44.7 percent.

For white people, it seems that the lower number in smartphone ownership could be related to the fact that many in this demographic were introduced to earlier generations of mobile handsets first and are slower to convert to newer generation devices.

Nielsen, a global marketing and advertising research company headquartered in Lower Manhattan, New York, also said that Android is continuing to dominate smartphone space, racking up 48.5 percent of the overall smartphone market. Apple is in second with 32 percent, but has remained the single-biggest smartphone handset brand in the US. In the worldwide market, Samsung just surpassed Nokia as the top handset maker, according to Nielsen.

The report indicates that, while smartphone ownership is still growing, it is slowing down a bit in the US.

Another report also released Monday, by Pew Research Center´s Internet & American Life Project, found that consumers who owned smartphones, tapped into the mobile computing and sharing power those devices offer.

Among Pew´s findings (based on 2,254 surveyed adults): 41 percent of users coordinated a meeting or a get-together within the past 30 days; 35 percent used their phone to settle an argument; 30 percent  used their phone to find a restaurant; and 27 percent used their phone to search the Internet to find an answer to a question.

Less common tasks included getting information on traffic or public transit info (20 percent) and getting help for an emergency (19 percent).

Pew found that younger cell phone users are more likely than older users to have used their smartphones to perform these activities. Overall, 88 percent of those 18-29 used their smartphone to perform one or more of those activities, compared to 76 percent of users 30-49, 57 percent of those 50-64, and 46 percent of those 65 or older.