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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : March 05, 2012

Pew: Over half U.S. mobile users own smartphones

New research by the American Life and Pew Internet Project shows that smartphone owners now outnumber their feature phone counterparts.

by Helen Leggatt

According to the survey, nearly half (46%) of Americans aged 18 and older own a smartphone as of February, 2012, up from 36% in May, 2011. The results also show that 41% owned a basic mobile phone, down from 48% in May last year and 12% did not own any type of mobile device, down from 17% in May, 2011.

According to Pew, "Nearly every major demographic group-men and women, younger and middle-aged adults, urban and rural residents, the wealthy and the less well-off-experienced a notable uptick in smartphone penetration over the last year."

The largest growth in smartphone ownership and use was among those within the lowest income bracket. Households with an income of $30,000 or less a year saw a 12% increase.

An analysis of the platforms being used reveals around 20% of all American mobile phone users own an Android OS-based phone, slightly more than the 19% of iOS users. Just 6% used Blackberry RIM, down from 10% in May last year.

In Europe usage is also rising. Smartphone use in the UK jumped 15% from 30% to 45% between January and October last year, according to a study commissioned by Google. That compares to a rise of 7% in the U.S. to 38%, 11% rise to 38% in France, 5% rise to 23% in Germany and up 11% in Japan to 17%.

Tags: demographics, Europe, mobile phone, smartphone usage, U.S.

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  • Brian Bobak

    This new uptake in smartphones makes the role of media that much more important as people are now immersed in a mobile computer 24/7. The reality that every demographic has had an increase in smart phone usage is changing our culture and this change can either be for the good or it can lead people astray and overwhelmed. There is a new expectation of people to be made available all of the time, everywhere, and on every level and so a smartphone seems like the reasonable solution. Yet, the dignity of the human person must remain with this new culture. People can't be expected to be out of touch with reality and only in touch with their screens. There needs to be a point in which people can take a step back, reevaluate themselves and what they are doing, how they are influencing others, and then use media for what it is, a tool and a gift! Scheduling and communication is necessary to achieve our goals. Yet, the goal and the means to achieving that goal cannot disregard reality and the people that make it up. There needs to be a centering of the message on the Gospel and the means of seeing the whole person though the media. A truly catholic world view of media is necessary as the world's culture becomes more and more media based.

  • Makes sense, this should speed up as smartphone prices reach feature phone levels next year.



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