Smartphone Adoption and Usage
In its first standalone measure of smartphone ownership, the Pew Internet Project finds that one third of American adults – 35% – own smartphones.
The Project’s May survey found that 83% of US adults have a cell phone of some kind, and that 42% of them own a smartphone. That translates into 35% of all adults.
The definition of a smartphone owner includes anyone who falls into either of the following two categories:
- One-third of cell owners (33%) say that their phone is a smartphone.
- Two in five cell owners (39%) say that their phone operates on a smartphone platform (these include iPhones and Blackberry devices, as well as phones running the Android, Windows or Palm operating systems).
Mobile phones are a main source of internet access for one-quarter of the smartphone population. Some 87% of smartphone owners access the internet or email on their handheld, including two-thirds (68%) who do so on a typical day. When asked what device they normally use to access the internet, 25% of smartphone owners say that they mostly go online using their phone, rather than with a computer. While many of these individuals have other sources of online access at home, roughly one third of these “cell mostly” internet users lack a high-speed home broadband connection.
Smartphone owners under the age of 30, non-white smartphone users, and smartphone owners with relatively low income and education levels are particularly likely to say that they mostly go online using their phones.
For several years, Pew Internet research has found that African-Americans and Latinos are more likely than whites to use their cell phones for non-voice applications such as using the internet, playing games, or accessing multimedia content. These differences extend to smartphone ownership as well, as 44% of black and Latino adults are smartphone owners, compared with 30% of whites.
Android is the most common smartphone platform, followed by iPhone and Blackberry devices. Demographically, Android phones are especially common among young adults and African-Americans, while iPhones and Blackberry devices are most prevalent among college graduates and the financially well-off.