Almost half the U.S. using smartphones, with iPhone leading gains

Dec 16, 2011

New research from Nielsen shows that the smartphone is continuing to make big leaps in popularity in the U.S., now accounting for some 44 percent of all cellular phones being used in the country.

Apple’s iPhone leads the pack in the U.S. among smartphone manufacturers, accounting for 28.6 percent of the entire market in the country. It’s not the top platform in the country, though – that still goes to Google’s Android platform, which holds down 44 percent of the total smartphone market.

MSNBC’s Technolog has the story, which notes Nielsen gathered its data from 25,000 U.S. cellular customers and that the smartphone market in 2009 accounted for just 18 percent of all cellular phones in the U.S. Among manufacturers, Apple is the leader, but the next biggest share of the market goes to BlackBerry maker Research In Motion with 17 percent. Next is Android device maker HTC with 15.8 percent, then the world leader in smartphones by revenue, Samsung, with 10.4 percent. The Windows Mobile platform came in fourth, accounting for 5.3 percent of all smartphones.

Among the 44 percent of people that own smartphones, more than half of them are between the ages of 18 and 34. Sixty-four percent of 25- to 34-year-olds are smartphone owners, while 53 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds own smartphones. On average, iOS users have 44 apps on their devices.

Facebook is the most-used app on both iOS and Android, Nielsen reported (which we already knew), and just under half – 49 percent – say they “frequently” use their smartphones while they’re shopping. In fact, using smartphones to save money is something that a lot of owners do. Nielsen also found that 87 percent of app users – those who have downloaded an app in the last 30 days – used them to access a “deal-of-the-day” website, such as LivingSocial or Groupon.

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We’ve heard that Apple’s devices are growing in popularity and that demand in 2012 for the devices may be even higher than was previously expected. Sounds like we might be seeing Apple’s share of the smartphone market increasing as that market continues to grow. Of course, we’ll have to wait and see what Google and Android have to offer, but things seem to be going well for Apple.

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Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw is a freelance writer, editor and author living in Los Angeles, dividing his time between playing video games, playing video games on his cell phone, and writing about playing video games. He’s also the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel, which attempts to mix time travel pop culture with some semblance of science, as well as tips on the appropriate means of riding dinosaurs. Check out his profile.

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