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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : March 30, 2012

Smartphones dominate new phone purchases in U.S.

If you live in America and you own a feature phone you will soon be in the minority, according to the latest figures released by Nielsen, as smartphones become a must-have product.

by Helen Leggatt

In January, 2011, 36% of mobile phone owners in the U.S. used a smartphone. As of February this year, that figure has risen to almost 50%, according to Nielsen's latest research.

Furthermore, in just the last three months, smartphones have dominated new phone purchases. Two-thirds of people who bought a mobile phone chose a smartphone. Of those that acquired their smartphone within the last three months, 48% said they chose an Android and 43% bought an iPhone.

Of the 18-34 age group, four in five mobile phones purchased are smartphones driven, says Jonathan Carson, CEO of Digital at Nielsen, by a desire to participate in social networking and other mobile activities.

While younger and more affluent consumers are more likely to purchase a smartphone, Nielsen's research found that, across all demographics, buyers are now more likely to opt for a smartphone than a regular feature phone.

"Effectively, a smartphone is starting to become a must-have purchase for Americans at all income levels," said Carson.

Tags: feature phone, mobile phone, phone usage, smartphone

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